Golf: Riley's strife in the past

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The Independent Online
AUSTRALIA'S Wayne Riley, anxious to put a miserable start to 1998 behind him, seized four birdies in his last five holes for a two-shot halfway lead in the Portuguese Open here yesterday.

Riley's seven-under-par 66 thrust him to the front of the field after the overnight leader, Darren Clarke, suffering the effects of a stomach- bug, slipped six strokes off the pace.

Riley's 12-under-par 134 spurred the Scot Paul Lawrie, who produced a brilliant back nine to card 64 for second place on 136. Lawrie came home in 31, seven-under-par with two eagles, for the lowest round recorded here by two strokes. It does not stand as the record because preferred lies were in operation for a second day due to occasional muddy patches. Two Englishmen share third place on 137 - David Gilford with 67 and Peter Mitchell with 70.

Severiano Ballesteros proved he could survive with indifferent driving over the two rounds, the Spaniard making his third cut in four starts this year with a 73 for 145, one better than the cut-off mark.

The defending champion, Michael Jonzon, who won last year in Lisbon, missed the cut by a stroke after a 73.

Riley is seeking his second win in Portugal in three years after what he called a "horrendous" start to the year. He broke a rib just before Christmas after falling into a coffee table at friend and fellow professional Sam Torrance's house party.

"It took a long time to heal and that meant a horrendous start to the season," Riley said. "I had to work very hard to get my game back and that's now paying some dividends."

He began the second round two strokes behind Clarke but as the Ulsterman struggled with a loss of energy in the afternoon, the gap became nine strokes. After having a four-putt and two three-putts on the front nine, Clarke rekindled his hopes of winning when he birdied the last three holes for a 74 and 140.

PORTUGUESE OPEN (Penina): Leading second-round scores:134 W Riley (Aus) 68 66. 136 P Lawrie 72 64. 137 P Mitchell 67 70; D Gilford 70 67. 138 J Remesy (Fr) 70 68; S Luna (Spa) 71 67. 139 D Carter 73 66; P Hedblom (Swe) 72 67. 140 J Coceres (Arg) 69 71; H Nystrom (Swe) 72 68; I Garbutt 72 68; D Clarke 66 74; S Torrance 74 66; J Lomas 71 69. 141 T Johnstone (Zim) 68 73; D Smyth 73 68; J Van de Velde (Fr) 68 73. 142 A Oldcorn 71 71; G Owen 72 70; M-A Martin (Sp) 70 72; F Henge (Swe) 71 71; S Bennett 74 68; F Jacobson (Swe) 72 70; P Baker 72 70; M James 71 71; J Singh (India) 69 73. 143 R Boxall 71 72; E Romero (Arg) 68 75; D Thomson 76 67; D Chopra (Swe) 74 69; S Alker (NZ) 74 69; J Rivero (Sp) 73 70; F Cea (Sp) 71 72; M Reale (It) 74 69; S Cage 73 70; S Tinning (Den) 72 71; D Howell 71 72; R Jacquelin (Fr) 76 67; A Cabrera (Arg) 75 68; D Hospital (Sp) 68 75. 144 I Pyman 73 71; J Sandelin (Swe) 73 71; D Cooper 73 71; V Phillips 70 74; A Cejka (Ger) 72 72; P Sjoland (Swe) 72 72; J Rystrom (Swe) 73 71; H Clark 77 67; J Bickerton 73 71; A Hunter 72 72; F Tarnaud (Fr) 75 69; M Mackenzie 74 70; O Eliasson (Swe) 73 71; D Lynn 71 73. 145 C Hainline (US) 77 68; C Clark 74 71; A Garrido (Sp) 72 73; R Burns 76 69; D Cole (Aus) 71 74; T Gillis (US) 71 74; G Evans 74 71; S Ballesteros (Sp) 72 73; J Rask (Swe) 74 71. 146 R Claydon 75 71; R Chapman 72 74; M Davis 75 71; P Eales 75 71; J Payne 74 72; J Spence 74 72; M Lafeber (Neth) 73 73; T Gogele (Ger) 73 73; D Robertson 73 73; S Leaney (Aus) 76 70; M A Jimenez (Sp) 75 71; J Hawksworth 75 71.

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