Donaldson in the hunt despite seven

Donaldson in the hunt despite seven

Even with a seven on his card Welshman Jamie Donaldson continued to make his presence felt today in the USPGA Championship – only the second major he has ever played in America.

Winner of the Irish Open last month on the links of Royal Portrush – his first European Tour victory in 255 starts – Donaldson was having more fun beside the seaside at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

An opening three-under-par 69 had left him three behind Swedish pace-setter Carl Pettersson and on his return the 36-year-old defied a strong wind to go to the turn in 35 and move into a tie for fourth.

Donaldson birdied the first and sixth, but hit his second shot into a thick patch of rough on the 579-yard seventh and needed three hacks at it to get out.

A double-bogey was the end result, but he hit straight back with a 35-foot birdie putt and then saved his par four with a chip to seven feet at the 494-yard ninth.

Many others were going backwards – and they included Graeme McDowell, world number one Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Padraig Harrington.

McDowell had started with a fine 68, but after resuming on the inward half bogeys on the 13th and 14th dropped him from tied sixth to joint 19th.

Harrington, needing a big week to boost his Ryder Cup hopes, let shots go on the same two holes and was level par, while Rose bogeyed the 10th and 13th to be back to one under.

Donald was already in a battle to survive the halfway cut when he set off once more at two over, but instantly double-bogeyed the 447-yard 10th and after six holes he remained four over.

How close that was to the cut mark all depended on the weather and in addition to the wind spectators and players were warned that a thunderstorm was heading their way.

Rory McIlroy, one behind Pettersson overnight, was among the later starters, as were Tiger Woods on three under and Lee Westwood on four over.

Paul Lawrie, close to securing a Ryder Cup return after 13 years, was paired with Rose and five straight pars kept him at one over.

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