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Willett, Rahm share halfway lead in PGA Championship, McIlroy makes cut

Willett, Rahm share halfway lead in PGA Championship, McIlroy makes cut
Golf - European Tour - BMW PGA Championship - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - September 20, 2019 Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy in action during the second round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs -
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(Reuters) – England’s Danny Willett and Spain’s Jon Rahm share a two-stroke lead at the BMWPGA Championship heading into the weekend, with both sitting at 11-under par after the second round on Friday.

Willett, a Masters champion in 2016, enjoyed home crowd support and carded a seven-under par 65 which included six birdies and an eagle, offset by a bogey on the 14th in the European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth, Surrey.

Rahm, chasing his fifth European Tour title, sank six birdies, an eagle and three bogeys to sign for 67.

“We hit a lot of good shots, holed some nice kind of mid-range putts,” Willett said.

“I’m probably not back to my best, and I’m still working on the moves and there’s still shots in there that I don’t like.”

Willett had the clubhouse lead before he was joined at the top of the leaderboard when Rahm, who bogeyed his first two holes, eagled the par-five 18th where he drew wild applause when his approach shot landed just a few feet from the hole.

“I didn’t get frustrated when I made two bogeys,” Rahm said. “When I started playing good I just capitalised. I was feeling really confident off the tee, confident with the irons.

“I think it’s a great golf course. That’s why I love coming back to Europe, to play these traditional style golf courses. They’re not long and not overly complicated on paper. It’s a special event with a lot of history.”

South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout (67), world number four Justin Rose of England (68) and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (69) were tied for third.

Further back, four-times major champion Rory McIlroy put his first round horror show of 76 behind him and battled for a three-under par 69 to make the cut on one-over.

The Northern Irishman sank four birdies, offset by a single bogey. He chipped in on the 16th for a birdie before finishing off with a crucial two-putt on the 18th to make it to the weekend.

British Open champion Shane Lowry, who finished at level-par on Thursday, signed for 71 and also made the cut.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra and Pritha Sarkar)

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