Early leader Donald proves a cool-hand Luke at Wentworth

By Tom Pilcher

VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Luke Donald's bright pink trousers were not the only thing wowing the Wentworth crowd as he compiled another excellent 68 to take the early second-round lead in the PGA Championship Friday.

World number 18 Donald held a two-shot lead on 136 -- six under -- and was one of the few players moving in the right direction on the leaderboard on another testing day on the revamped West Course.

Fellow Britons Paul Casey (68) and Chris Wood (68) were sharing second place in the clubhouse on 138 alongside Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed (70) who won the Italian Open earlier this month.

Overnight leader Danny Willett of Britain, who shot a six-under 65 Thursday, was a late starter on another baking hot day on the outskirts of London.

"You have to plan around this course a little bit more, plot your way around," Donald told reporters, referring to the much talked-about layout which has been remodeled by South African Ernie Els.

Plot was the key word as he mixed precise drives and irons with deft touches around the green, most noticeably on 15 where the Englishman saved par with a superb bunker escape and on 16 where he produced a fine up-and-down for par.

Donald then holed a 20-footer for a birdie at the monstrous 600-yard 17th.

"Before you could just step up at the 17th and 18th, give it a whack and usually make a couple of birdie fours," he said.

"Now it's very hard to hit it on the green at 17, it's a narrow entrance, and on 18 it's a very difficult second shot if you choose to go for it.


"I've enjoyed some of the changes to the course. I think the greens are more consistent and it's still a tough challenge," said Donald.

Casey's ball striking was imperious, though it took an eventful back nine for his putter to warm up as the world number eight and 2009 PGA champion recorded five birdies and two bogeys.

Lee Westwood was hovering around the cut mark after carding a 74 for 144, two over, and for the second day running he had issues with the course.

"You're not sure how much sand is in the bunkers. The caddies have a real job raking them, I feel sorry for them," said the world number three.

Fanny Suneson, former caddie to Nick Faldo and now carrying Swede Henrik Stenson's bag, told Reuters much the same after she spent several minutes in a trap.

"It's a fact. They are hard to rake," she said wearily.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)