It may be an unlikely Irish challenge heading into today’s third round of the BMW PGA Championship but Peter Lawrie, David Higgins and Gareth Maybin are each focusing on keeping their form together as Wentworth prepares to bare its teeth over the weekend.
First round co-leader Lawrie is the best placed of the Irish, nicely positioned at seven under par, five adrift of halfway frontrunner James Morrison but following his second-round, one-under 71, he warned of a stiffer challenge ahead, with winds forecast to gust up to 30 miles per hour today.
“The wind switched into us and we played from 12 in all into the breeze and they’re all tough,” Lawrie said yesterday. “I can tell you it’s going to get very difficult on that back nine. There’s a lot of holes into the breeze and around Wentworth it swirls too so it comes into off the left and into off the right. That makes it quite difficult.”
Still, Lawrie’s back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16 were to blame for failing to reach his objective.
“My target was 10-under today. I failed miserably,” he said with a laugh. “Well, under par is okay. If I can be under par for the weekend with the conditions getting tougher it’ll be okay.
“It was a case of trying to get the job done (today) rather than anything else. But it’s only Friday, there’s two more days to go yet.”
Both Waterville’s Higgins and Ballyclare’s Maybin will begin today’s play at four under par after both men shot two-under 70s yesterday.
“I’m just delighted to get a good start,” said Higgins, who qualified for the tournament courtesy of his runner-up finish on the Irish PGA Order of Merit last year. “Four under is very good, it’s very windy now and it’s tricky, so I’m delighted with it, but it could have been better.”
Maybin, seventh in the Spanish Open earlier this month in his last start, is still looking for improvements to his game. Having made a few swing changes at the start of the year, the Ulsterman is now looking to iron out his putting.
“I’m struggling from short and making long ones,” Maybin said. “If I can tidy that up there is definitely a good score there. ”
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