Wentworth – Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn saw his five-shot overnight lead evaporate as the final round of the European PGA Championship neared the halfway stage at Wentworth on Sunday.
After six holes Bjorn was level with Ireland’s Shane Lowry on 12-under par after a disastrous seven on the par-4 sixth where his playing partner Luke Donald also had a triple bogey to slip off the leader board.
Bjorn drove into a fairway bunker and took two to get out of the hazard before hitting his fourth shot into a greenside trap.
He chipped out to about 12 feet but his putt for a six drifted right of the hole and all of a sudden the tournament was wide open for the first time since the Dane shot a 62 on the opening day.
Donald found trouble in the trees and in the sand for his seven to slip back to seven-under par while Rory McIlroy made significant strides.
The Northern Irishman had an eagle three at the fourth and a birdie at the seventh to move to 10-under, two off the pace while Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher had a run of four birdies to get within three of the lead.
Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal was level with Gallacher having played seven holes.
Lee Westwood finished on 287, one-under par, whilst Ian Poulter was in the clubhouse two shots better off.
Henrik Stenson, who has a chance of claiming the world number one ranking this weekend, was one-over for the day and in a tie for 15th place after 10 holes.
Bjorn’s horror show at the seventh put his chances of a 16th European Tour title in jeopardy when he looked to have the whole tournament under control going into day four.
He was on 15-under par as he teed off last seeking his second win of the season and looking to become the second multiple winner of the season after 50-year old Miguel Angel Jimenez.
The 43-year old Bjorn had six birdies in a row on the third day and a win would virtually seal his place in the European Ryder Cup team for the match against the US at Gleneagles in September. – Sapa-AFP