Lowry, Fitzpatrick surge to halfway lead at PGA Championship

(Reuters) - British Open champion Shane Lowry and local favourite Matthew Fitzpatrick both fired seven-under-par 65s in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship to share the lead at the halfway stage on Friday.

Golf - European Tour - BMW PGA Championship - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - October 9, 2020 Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry in action during the second round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The duo, who were tied for third after matching opening rounds of 67 on Thursday, went 12-under for the tournament at the Wentworth Club in Surrey to sit a stroke ahead of overnight co-leader Tyrrell Hatton, who stayed in contention with a 67.

“This morning was a beautiful morning. It was very cold at the start and the ball was going a long way, no wind and it was lovely to play,” said Irishman Lowry, who had seven birdies.

“Thankfully I took advantage of it and shot a couple of decent scores.”

Fitzpatrick was well on his way to better Paul McGinley’s tournament record for the lowest score after 36 holes - 13-under set in 2008 - but a double bogey on the eighth hole ruined the Englishman’s chances.

However, the 26-year-old said he was happy with his seven birdies and an eagle on the fourth hole.

“This is my best position I’ve been here. I love the golf course. I’ve always felt it suited my game,” five-times European Tour winner Fitzpatrick said.

“I’ve never really kicked on around here... if I can just keep playing how I’ve been playing, make some putts as well, there’s no reason why I can’t finish it off.”

Spaniard Adri Arnaus, who led alongside Hatton and South Africa’s Justin Harding after the first round, was tied-sixth with Scot Grant Forrest.

Harding had a disappointing day with a round of 81 while world number nine Patrick Reed, the Race to Dubai leader, climbed 14 places with a 68 for a share of 10th.

Briton David Howell produced a moment of magic for the highlights reel, shooting a hole-in-one on the 14th.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris