Danny Willett and Jon Rahm share three-shot lead at BMW PGA Championship

Former Masters champion Danny Willett and Spain’s Jon Rahm share the lead heading into the final day of the BMW PGA Championship after a dramatic finish to the third round at Wentworth.

Rahm held a two-shot lead after playing the first 16 holes in five under par and enjoyed a major slice of luck on the 17th when his second shot was heading out of bounds before hitting a spectator.

However, the world number six failed to make the most of his good fortune by pitching to 10 feet and then three-putting for a six and was also just a few feet from driving out of bounds at the last.

After taking a penalty drop another bogey looked on the cards, but Rahm holed from 20 feet for an unlikely par and Willett got up and down from a greenside bunker for a birdie to match his playing partner’s 68.

On 15 under par the pair held a three-shot lead over Justin Rose, Shubhankar Sharma and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, with Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Rafa Cabrera Bello two shots further back.

“Man, those last two holes made it feel a lot worse than it really was,” Rahm admitted. “I was really in control of my game and playing good.

“It was not the finish I was looking for, I might have lost a bit of focus, looking into the future instead of staying in the present but it doesn’t take away from how solidly I played when the wind was bad and when I still had a fourth shot into the last with a six iron and didn’t drop a shot.”

Rahm was among the players who waited beside the 18th green on Friday as Jose Maria Olazabal completed his 25th and final appearance in the event and the 24-year-old can join Olazabal, Seve Ballesteros, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Ignacio Garrido and Manuel Pinero as a Spanish winner at Wentworth.

“A lot of the things I’m doing are dreams come true and time I can join a list like that is pretty unique,” Rahm added. “I have a chance tomorrow and am looking forward to it. It would mean a lot.”

Willett recovered from a bogey on the first with the aid of six birdies to remain on track for a seventh European Tour title and a first on home soil.

“This is our biggest tournament of the year for us British guys, it’s a massive event,” Willett said. “I’ve been here 10 straight years and I love the place. The crowds are amazing.

Danny Willett
Danny Willett would love to win the BMW PGA Championship on home soil (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I’ve won all around the world and it would be amazing to polish one off in front of a home crowd. It’s going to be a pretty tough battle out there.”

With bad weather forecast for Sunday, Rory McIlroy had not abandoned hope of a second remarkable victory after a superb 65 which equalled his lowest score at Wentworth and left him nine shots off the lead.

“I will give it a go for sure and you never know,” said 2014 champion McIlroy. “But at the same time I’m a realist. I know I won from seven back five years ago and I feel like that’s something that happens maybe once in your career.”

🚨 ALBATROSS ALERT 🚨 @RossFisher wins a @BMW_UK i8 Rosso Corsa worth £132,930!#BMWPGA#RolexSeriespic.twitter.com/3Nf3LQxhvY

— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 21, 2019

Another rare event was enjoyed by England’s Ross Fisher, who holed his second shot to the 18th for an albatross to complete a remarkable back nine of 29 and win a BMW i8 Roadster worth £130,000.

Fisher, whose 66 left him a shot ahead of McIlroy on seven under, said: “It was pretty surreal. I think we had 200 (yards) to the front, 225 to the pin, a perfect four iron. I thought I’d pulled it so I looked away and the crowd’s reaction told the rest of the story. To win the car is still a bit shocking.”

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