Date: May 24, 2008

Fraser fourth at halfway mark

Marcus Fraser backed up his excellent first day with a second-round 69 to take a share of fourth place at the halfway mark of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. The Australian&aposs three-under-par round included five birdies and a double-bogey on the par-4 13th as he finished at eight-under alongside Dane Soren Kjeldsen (65) and England&aposs Oliver Wilson (66). They were no match, however, for Irishman Paul McGinley who continued on his merry way while others were tearing their hair out on the demanding South London layout. A closing 20-foot eagle putt gave McGinley a 66 to add to his opening 65 and that 13-under-par total is a new record for Europe&aposs flagship PGA Championship event. By knocking one stroke off the previous best of Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Andrew Oldcorn, the 41-year-old opened up a four-stroke halfway lead over Swede Robert Karlsson and England&aposs Miles Tunnicliff. And this came on a day when Els, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Montgomerie, Darren Clarke and Jose Maria Olazabal all failed to survive the cut. A first prize of almost 600,000 pounds is his for the taking and should he win it he could rocket up to sixth in the Ryder Cup points race. Not bad for a player who from reaching the world&aposs top 20 with victory in the 2005 Volvo Masters then went over a year without a top-10 finish. “It&aposs not like all of a sudden the hole is the size of a bucket but I am in control of what I&aposm doing and I love Wentworth,” commented the Dubliner. “I&aposm more than pleased. I had a great back nine, I holed some great putts, it was great. “Things are looking good but I&aposve been long enough in this game to know there&aposs a long way to go. It&aposs a marathon and I&aposm only halfway through.” Grabbing the prestigious title would transform the fortunes of a man whose world ranking, now at 157th, has &aposfallen like a stone&apos since he helped Europe win three Ryder Cups in a row. Only 38th on the Order of Merit, he could leap into the number one position on Sunday night – and even if he goes second that would earn him an invitation to the US Open in three weeks&apos time. Richard Green is the best of the remaining Australians at five-under, while Peter O&aposMalley is at one-under. Meanwhile, it was a disappointing tournament for Kane Webber, Scott Strange, Brett Rumford and New Zealanders Mark Brown and Michael Campbell, who all missed the cut. Brown finished an agonising one shot outside the cut line while Campbell shot a second successive 80. Second Round Scores from the BMW PGA Championship -13: Paul McGinley 65, 66 -9: Robert Karlsson 66, 69, Miles Tunncliff 70, 65 -8: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 67, 69, Soren Kjedldsen 71, 65, Oliver Wilson 70, 66 -7: Angel Jimenez 70, 67 -6: Felipe Aguilar 71, 67, Alejandro Canizares 72, 66, Damien McGrane 72, 66, Gary Orr 70, 68, Daniel Vancsik 68, 70 -5: Paul Casey 71, 68, Richard Green (Australia) 70, 69, Charl Schwartzel 68, 71, Simon Wakefield 68, 71, Marc Warren 69, 70 -4: Robert-Jan Derksen 70, 70, Hennie Otto 71, 69, Robert Dinwiddie 78, 63, Luke Donald 72, 69 Also: -1: Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 71, 72 +2: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 75, 71 +5: Kane Webber (Australia) 80, 69 +7: Scott Strange (Australia) 73, 78 +10: Brett Rumford (Australia) 80, 74 +16: Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 80, 80