Graeme Storm motors on in BMW Championship as top stars conk out

THREE birdies on the back nine saw Graeme Storm make the cut at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The Hartlepool golfer was in danger of missing out on the weekend’s play after a pair of bogeys on the front nine of yesterday’s second round.

That saw Storm – at three-over par – slip one shot below the projected cut line.

He dropped strokes on the par-fours at three and nine.

But Storm seems to have a liking for the 531-yard par-five at 12 and, having birdied it on the opening day, he repeated the trick to return to the cusp of the cut.

Three pars over 13, 14 and 15 steadied the nerves before back-to-back birdies on the par-four 16th and par-five 17th saw him return a round of 71 and level par for the championship.

That means Storm is guaranteed a cash return from this weekend’s tournament and leaves him a tie of 28th place – six shots off the lead – heading into today’s third round.

Meanwhile, Italy’s Francesco Molinari claimed the halfway lead on a miserable day at Wentworth as Ryder Cup team-mate Luke Donald’s bid for a third successive BMW title came to a premature end.

And fellow heroes of the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ also made an early exit from the European Tour’s flagship £4million event, with Rory McIlroy (75), Graeme McDowell (75), Ian Poulter (76) and Paul Lawrie (72) all joining Donald in missing the halfway cut.

Donald went into the second round insisting a hat-trick was not out of the question despite struggling to an opening 78, but the world number six could only manage a 72 on another cold, wet day to finish six over par.

That was 12 shots behind Molinari, who birdied the 18th to complete a 68 and lead by one from England’s Mark Foster, Scotland’s Marc Warren, Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and South African George Coetzee.