Shane Lowry continues to muscle his way closer to a maiden BMW PGA Championship victory in posting a brilliant second round seven-under par 65 at Wentworth.
Lowry delighted in heading to lunch with the then clubhouse lead on 12-under par following Thursday’s opening 67.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick looked on target to at least match the West Course record in being nine-under par with a hole to play but took a double-bogey at his closing hole, also in a round of 65.
Frenchman Victor Perez, last year’s winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, signed for a 66 to be in third place on 11-under par.
Lowry’s second round score was just one stroke shy of his lowest ‘Burma Road’ round of 64 that he posted on day one of the 2014 event before going on to finish runner-up to Rory McIlroy.
The Clara golfer commenced day two grabbing three birdies in four holes from the fourth, a hole he birdied for the second straight day.
Lowry then birdied the 12th, 15th and 17th holes and each also for a second day ahead of a closing hole birdie, while a glance at his two Wentworth scorecards shows he’s seven-under par on the four par-5s.
It’s now the first time Lowry’s been in contention in some 15 months since his stunning Open Championship success at Royal Portrush.
“I feel like my game has been good for a while but I’ve just been struggling on the greens but it’s just amazing when you hole a few putts,” he said.
“I’ve also driven it a bit better this week than I have done all year.
“I have been dropping a lot of silly shots on the golf course and it takes its toll, especially like playing golf on the cut mark. It’s not like I have been missing a whole lot of cuts but it’s just playing golf on the cut mark is just stressful, and it’s just hard.
“When you go out and shoot a good score in the first round and then you get off to a good start on the second day, like I did today, it just frees you up and allows you to go and play some good golf.
“So, thankfully that’s what I have been doing and hopefully can just keep doing it over the weekend.”
Fellow Irishmen Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell were out in the afternoon half of the draw.
Harrington was left to rue an inward nine of 39 after reaching three-under par at the turn.
He eventually signed for a one-under par 71, good enough for a one-under halfway tally and a share of 45th, the same score as McDowell who arrested a run of missed cuts with a two-under par round of 70 that included two closing birdies.
The Northern Irishman posted seven birdies in-all and with the cut falling at even par, he had a shot in hand to ensure a Sunday pay cheque at Wentworth.
Full scoring HERE