Ryder Cup captain’s pick Ludvig Åberg and fellow Swede Sebastian Söderberg share a one-shot lead after day two of the BMW PGA Championship as the duo produced a pair of big finishes as the sun went down on hot day of high-class golfing action at Wentworth.
Early starters Thomas Detry, Masahiro Kawamura and Adrian Meronk set the target at nine under, and it looked like they would lead the way into the weekend, but Åberg and Söderberg had other ideas.
Söderberg made a hat-trick of birdies from the tenth, but the 32-year-old was still two shots off the lead before he birdied the 17th and then eagled the last to card a 64 and get to ten under. In fading light, Åberg birdied his last three holes to sign for a 66 and join his countryman at the top of the leaderboard.
Tommy Fleetwood then completed a birdie-birdie finish to card a 66 of his own and joined the group that sits one shot off the lead. Sepp Straka – another Ryder Cup captain’s pick – and Aaron Rai are in the clubhouse at eight under alongside first round leader Marcus Helligkilde, who had four holes left to play and will be one of 24 players returning to complete their rounds on Saturday morning after an earlier 90-minute fog delay.
Åberg claimed his maiden DP World Tour victory in Switzerland just two weeks ago, and his place in the Ryder Cup team for the upcoming contest in Rome is another step in a remarkable rise for the former college superstar and amateur world no.1 who only turned professional in June. Playing alongside Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy, the youngster seemed unphased by being in the company of two of the game’s biggest stars.
“For me to play with those two guys has been a lot of fun and a new experience for me,” he said. “I’m trying to take everything I can and learn from it because obviously they have has so much success in this game, and I’m trying to pick up some things that they are doing as well. It was a little bit nerve-wracking both yesterday and today, but I’m proud of the way I handled it and looking forward to the next couple days. I’m pleased with the way I hit my irons and my wedges today. I felt like as soon as I got myself in the fairway I had some control on the flight and the trajectory, and I was really pleased with how things turned out today.”
McIlroy did just enough to make the cut, with a second round 71, to add to his first round 72, being enough to squeeze him into the weekend’s play by the minimum margin, which will be relief to the thousands of fans that are set to descend on Wentworth for the final two rounds.
Play was suspended at 7.30pm due to darkness with round two to resume tomorrow at 7.20am. Round three will not start before 10.20am on Saturday and will be a two-tee start on holes one and nine), with players grouped in three balls.