Morrison four clear at Wentworth
Surrey, England (Sports Network) - England's James Morrison fired an eight- under 64 before the wind kicked up on Friday to grab a four-stroke lead after 36 holes of the BMW PGA Championship.
Morrison finished two rounds at 12-under-par 132.
In his previous two starts at this event, Morrison hadn't broken 70 or made the cut. He has now broken 70 in back-to-back rounds after opening with a 68 on Thursday.
"I played dreadfully here the last two years because I took it so seriously, but I played lovely today. My putter is back, that's the main thing," Morrison said.
Defending champion Luke Donald posted his second straight four-under 68 to move into a share of second place at minus-eight. He was joined there by first-round co-leader David Drysdale, who posted a two-under 70 in round two.
Alvaro Quiros (70) and first-round co-leader Peter Lawrie (71) are tied for fourth at seven-under-par 137. World No. 10 Justin Rose (71) headlines a group of eight players that share sixth place at minus-six.
As the day went along, the wind picked up and sent scores soaring.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who was in the later portion of the draw, struggled to a seven-over 79 and missed the cut by eight strokes on the West Course at Wentworth Club. McIlroy mixed two double-bogeys, four birdies and seven bogeys in his round.
McIlroy will lose the top spot in the world rankings on Monday if Donald finishes solo eighth or better.
Morrison birdied the fourth and sixth to move to six-under. He caught fire with a birdie on the ninth.
The Englishman followed with a three-foot birdie putt at 10 and a 12-footer for birdie on the 11th. That spurt of three birdies gave him the lead at minus-nine.
Morrison pushed his lead to two with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 13th. He parred his next four holes, before finding the green in two at the par-five 18th.
The 27-year-old Morrison, whose lone tour win was at the 2010 Madeira Islands Open, poured in another 25-footer, this time for eagle, to jump to 12-under. It was the second straight day Morrison closed with an eagle.
"I expect a lot, but if I shoot 80 or 65, I'll take what I can from it," said Morrison. "I desperately, desperately, desperately want to keep going forward and that's my problem sometimes - I'm too eager, too keen, too determined I guess. I've been playing great, but been getting in the way of myself. I'm going to do my best and that's all I can do."
Donald opened with a bogey on the first, but came back with birdies on three of the next four holes to move to six-under. Donald has birdied the second and fourth both days.
After five consecutive pars, Donald stumbled to another bogey on the 11th. He bounced back with an eagle on 12 before dropping another stroke at 15.
Donald birdied 16 and 17 to grab a piece of second place.
"Obviously, I'm very pleased with that round. This is a tricky course, and the scores are reasonably good. Obviously, James Morrison had a great round. There are scores out there because the greens are holding," said Donald, who was two groups behind Morrison.
"When I made bogey on 15, to finish with a couple of birdies on 16, 17, really will make me feel a lot better going into the weekend. I'm feeling very strong on the greens."
Drysdale, like Donald, tripped to a bogey on No. 1. Drysdale birdied the fourth for the second day in a row and made it two in a row with a birdie on the fifth.
The 37-year-old birdied the eighth and 12th, both for second time in two days, to climb to minus-nine.
Drysdale stumbled to bogeys on the 13th and 16th, but birdied the 18th to join Donald at eight-under.
"It was not as good as yesterday, but I think with the way I played 70 was quite a good score," Drysdale admitted. "My putting kept me going today."
NOTES: The cut line fell at one-over-par 145 with 72 players making it to the weekend...Along with McIlroy, others that missed the cut included last week's World Match Play winner Nicolas Colsaerts, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington.
05/25 16:28:18 ET