LEE Westwood is in contention after the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth following a two under par first round.
Westwood, from Worksop, whose play-off defeat to Luke Donald 12 months ago cost him the world number one position, returned a 70 and was delighted with that given he was not at his best, saying: “I didn’t have anywhere near my A-game and not even my B-game really.”
Sheffield’s Danny Willett went one better than Westwood with a three under par 69. Willett had a back nine of 33 - four under par - including birdies on the final three holes to be three shots behind joint leaders Peter Lawrie and David Drysdale. It wasn’t a good day for Rory McIlroy who along with Drysdale illustrated the fine line between success and failure on the opening day of the.
World number one McIlroy went out of bounds by an inch and threw a club as a two-over-par 74 left him in danger of missing the halfway cut for a second successive tournament - and possibly losing top spot again to Donald.
Drysdale, 290 places below him on the rankings, could not believe his luck as his second shot to the final hole went into the water and bounced out again.
“You could hit 1,000 balls and never have that happen,” said the 37-year-old Scot, who went on to birdie the par five for a six-under 66 and a share of the lead with Ireland’s Peter Lawrie.
“I don’t know what it hit - maybe a fish. It was a massive break. I don’t think I can say what I would have thought if I had taken six or seven there.”
McIlroy’s show of frustration, which could result in a European Tour fine, came as he ran up a six on the long 12th.
It was the last of four bogeys in five holes and a double bogey at the 16th was to follow.