sport

Gallacher on the charge

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher made the brightest start as the third round of the BMW PGA Championship got under way following a lengthy delay.

Heavy rain overnight and this morning left parts of the West Course at Wentworth under water and pushed back starting times by three hours in the European Tour's flagship event.

Gallacher had made the halfway cut with a shot to spare on one over par and after a bogey on the first, responded with birdies at the fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth to improve to two under par.

The delay meant the 74 players who made the cut were assembled in groups of three rather than two, with joint leaders Thomas Bjorn and Shane Lowry joined by Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello and due out at 2.15pm.

Bjorn and Lowry held a four-shot lead over Cabrera-Bello and two-time winner Luke Donald, with world number three Henrik Stenson, two-time major winner Rory McIlroy and in-form Swede Jonas Blixt another shot back on five under.

Stenson can replace Adam Scott as world number one this weekend, with a large number of scenarios possible after the Australian made the cut in the Crowne Plaza Invitational on the PGA Tour.

Scott carded a second round of 68 at Colonial to lie six shots off the halfway lead in a share of 36th place. A total of 75 players made the cut and if Scott finishes 53rd or worse to miss out on any world ranking points, Stenson would only need to finish 29th or better at Wentworth to assume top spot.

If Scott were to finish 30th or worse Stenson would need to be 15th or better, while a top 10 for Scott means world number three Stenson has to finish sixth.

Gallacher's charge was halted by a bogey on the 11th and just a par on the 12th, the par five which had provided Rory McIlroy with an eagle on each of the first two days.

But there were plenty of birdies to be had on the rain-softened greens, with US Open champion Justin Rose carding four in a row after a bogey on the first.

The first player to make an impression on the leaderboard was Thomas Aiken, the South African's birdie on the first taking him to five under par.