Updated: Friday, 23 May 2014 20:21 | By Agence France-Presse

Bjorn holds golf lead as McIlroy struggles at rainy Wentworth

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn maintained his advantage in the early stages of the second round of the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Friday without having to hit a ball.

Bjorn holds golf lead as McIlroy struggles at rainy Wentworth

Danish golfer Thomas Bjorn watches his drive from the 2nd tee during the first round of the PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, southwest of London on May 22, 2014 - by Glyn Kirk

Bjorn shot a first round course record of 62 – 10-under par – but none of the morning starters could make inroads into his lead.

The Dane had a lunchtime tee off time but was still sitting pretty at the top of the leader board before he embarked on his second round.

However with rain lashing the course the former Ryder Cup vice-captain was set to start his round in the worst conditions of the day as he attempted to hold onto his lead and strengthen his claims for a Ryder Cup playing spot in September.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello looked primed to make a move after Thursday’s 65 when he eagled the par-5 fourth but dropped shots at the sixth, eighth and ninth holes before clawing a shot back on the 15th to be three shots off Bjorn's pace.

Rory McIlroy was having an up and down day after his opening 68. The Northern Irishman bogeyed two of his first three holes and double bogeyed the seventh before hitting back with an eagle at the par-5 12th.

McIlroy has been the centre of attention at the European Tour's flagship event after announcing the break-up of his relationship with tennis player Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday.

He has a poor record on this course – he has missed the last two cuts here – but looked to have buried his demons with his first round until the course hit back on Friday.

Sweden's Jonas Blixt had got to five-under with Denmark’s Anders Hansen a further shot back after completing a 69 whilst Shane Lowry on eight-under and Frenchman Gary Stal were yet to start on eight and six-under respectively.

Scotland’s Chris Doak had a run of three birdies in five holes after a bogey at the first to get himself level with Blixt as the rain started to fall.

But defending champion Matteo Manassero was looking at having a free weekend and set to miss the cut. After a disastrous opening 80 the Italian was nine-over for the tournament with four holes to play in his second round.

England’s Lee Westwood and US Open champion Justin Rose were both two-under with four to play and Ian Poulter, a group in front, was on the same mark.

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