By Tony Jimenez
VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Luke Donald, the PGA Championship winner in 2011 and 2012, is almost certain to miss the cut after returning a level-par 72 for a six-over total of 150 at Wentworth on Friday.
The real damage was done in Thursday's opening round when the world number six collapsed to a six-over 78 in cold, damp conditions at the European Tour's flagship event.
The weather was no better for the second round and Donald suffered an early blow when he took a double-bogey five at the second.
The Briton also dropped a stroke at the third before he staged a mini-revival with birdies at the fourth, eighth, 12th and 13th.
Another bogey followed at the 17th before he ended his round with a birdie four.
Donald said the eight-degree temperatures and the 15-mph winds were a factor in his performance but also acknowledged that he had played poorly.
"It's quite chilly," he told reporters as he sheltered from the driving rain under an umbrella. "Even for England this is pretty unseasonal and it made the course play tougher.
"The last couple of years it's been pretty warm for this event and the ball travelled a lot. This year I've been hitting longer irons into some of these holes because of the weather.
"The bottom line, though, is I didn't play very well. I was nine-over for the first 21 holes and that is pretty terrible golf really."
The 35-year-old Donald said he struggled with every department of his game.
"When I missed fairways, I missed the green and then I wasn't getting up and down," he explained. "My problems were just kind of compounding.
"Not one part of my game is really firing at the moment," added the former world number one.
Donald will attempt to take heart from the five birdies he notched on Friday.
"It's not like I am a million miles away," he said. "It's about doing the things Luke Donald usually does well - being tidy around the greens and making the putts when I need to.
"I've got to start there and work my way back. Sometimes it's just a little something small from my coach that will get me back on track.
"I'm not too worried. It's never nice to miss the cut here, a place I've played well, but failure is a much bigger motivation for me than successes."
Donald's playing partners, Spanish pair Sergio Garcia and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, fared a lot better than the Englishman.
Garcia, embroiled in a racism row with world number one Tiger Woods this week, carded a 71 for a one-under total of 143.
Fernandez-Castano is also on 143 after going round in 75.
The cut for the final two rounds is projected to fall at two-over 146.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)