• BMW PGA Championship

Donald and McIlroy in the hunt at Wentworth

ESPN staff
May 24, 2014
Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy head into the final round at Wentworth trailing Thomas Bjorn © Getty Images

Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy carded rounds of 68 and 69 respectively to put themselves well in the mix going into the final round of the BMW Championship at Wentworth.

But the Ryder Cup team-mates will tee up on Sunday in the European Tour's flagship event chasing Thomas Bjorn, who carded seven birdies in his final eight holes to move to 15-under.

Bjorn supremacy

  • Thomas Bjorn dropped three shots in the opening five holes before a birdie at the sixth was complimented by a run of six straight gains from the 11th, with one more at 18.
  • "I'm starting to warm to this place," joked the Dane, whose only top-10 finish at Wentworth was a tie for fifth in 1998.
  • "I got off to a really rough start with a lot of loose swings early on but hit a really good shot on 10 and started to feel more comfortable.
  • "I probably drew a little on what I did on Thursday on the back nine, putts started to drop and you get in the zone where things start to go your way.
  • "I was proud of the way I handled the round and proud of my determination and the way I stayed with my golf. It was a remarkable run of holes."
  • A 16th European Tour title will all but seal Bjorn's first Ryder Cup appearance since 2002, but he added: "There are a couple of names on that leaderboard who can't be counted out.
  • "I have to play some good golf and be smart and aggressive when I can be and keep them at arms' length. If I get off to a bad start it's a wide open tournament."
  • BMW PGA Championship leaderboard

The inspired Dane, who equalled the course record 62 on Thursday, leads by five over Donald at 10-under, with McIlroy two shots further back.

McIlroy began the week by announcing the break-up of his relationship with his fiancée, former tennis world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, and as a result was widely predicted to miss the cut on a course where he has performed poorly in the past.

But the Northern Irishman began day three well in the hunt - before opening with a double-bogey six at the first. Birdies at four and seven took him back to level par for the round, before further gains at 11, 12 and 17 saw him sign for a 69 and move to eight-under par.

"I was a little disappointed I didn't make a birdie at the last but, after the start I had, 69 is a good score," McIlroy said.

"I feel like a low round is in me but I don't know if it's going to be good enough. I need to go out and shoot something similar to what Thomas did on the opening day.

"I've had big leads and let them slip, and come from behind and won. There's a lot of ways to win. Eighteen holes of golf is still a long way to go and if the conditions are favourable, then you never know what can happen.

"Mentally I feel like I've done pretty well. I've stayed patient and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Donald was far more consistent, with an eagle at four - a hole he has played in four-under par this week - and birdies at 17 and 18 accompanied 15 pars.

"It was very important for me finish well," said the Englishman, who won this event in 2011 and 2012.

"Every time I looked at the leaderboard, Thomas had made another birdie and it was vital I keep within touching distance and play myself into the final group for Sunday."

Reflecting on his first Wentworth victory that elevated him to world No.1 for the first time, Donald added: "2011 was my best year on tour and going to no.1 was special. I've got a tough task ahead of me to win for a third time and Thomas has got some shots on me but it should be a fun final day."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close