Golf: Ambitious Olazabal: Ballesteros fails to make cut in Torrevieja while the only black player on the US Tour reaps benefit of concentration on practice

Click to follow
The Independent Online
JOSE-MARIA OLAZABAL equalled the course record of 65 during yesterday's second round of the Mediterranean Open at Torrevieja yesterday.

However, on a day when Olazabal managed a two-round aggregate of 135, nine under par, his fellow Spaniard and Ryder Cup colleague, Seve Ballesteros, missed the cut. Olazabal, who shares the record with Russell Claydon, of England, is now in sight of his first European PGA Tour victory since he won the Tenerife Open more than two years ago.

He is only one shot behind the joint leaders, Yorkshireman Gordon J Brand and another Spaniard, Juan Quiros. But Ballesteros, who had worked hard on his fitness all winter to ensure a good season, took three putts on the short ninth, his last hole, in his second-round 73 - and that one extra putt eliminated him from the tournament.

Olazabal was not as overjoyed with his record as he might have been, saying: 'I did not play well but I have putted like the angels. I only had 24 putts all day.' He had eight birdies and only one bogey at the fourth where he missed the green with a nine-iron.

Brand had taken a two-week break from the Tour but, playing with new irons and a new driver, he was round in 66 for 134 with six birdies and 12 pars. 'I only got these new clubs last week and hardly had the chance to use them because of the snow in Yorkshire, but they are certainly doing me proud,' he said.

Quiros led after the first round of the Andalucia Masters last week but then collapsed. 'My problem was that I used to wave to all my friends all the way round and lose concentration. Now I just look at the ground and think only of my next shot,' he said.

TURESPANA MEDITERRANEAN OPEN (Torrevieja, Sp) Second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 134 J Quiros (Sp) 67 67; G J Brand 68 66. 135 J-M Olazabal (Sp) 70 65. 136 T Johnstone (Zim) 68 68. 137 L Westwood 68 69; D Ray 69 68; R Claydon 72 65. 138 D A Russell 69 69; R Allenby (Aus) 70 68; P McGinley 70 68; F Nobilo (NZ) 68 70. 139 P Mitchell 72 67; M-A Jimenez (Sp) 70 69; E Romero (Arg) 67 72; K Eriksson (Swe) 67 72; M Harwood (Aus) 68 71. 140 M Nichols 70 70; H Clark 72 68; M Zerman (It) 70 70; R Chapman 74 66; D W Basson (SA) 71 69; R Karlsson (Swe) 72 68; S Bottomley 72 68; D Hospital (Sp) 72 68; J Rivero (Sp) 69 71; A Bossert (Switz) 70 70. 141 P Golding 68 73; A Garrido (Sp) 66 75; S Watson 69 72; M Gronberg (Swe) 69 72; P Fowler (Aus) 69 72; S Grappasonni (It) 71 70; I Garrido (Sp) 72 69. 142 A Coltart 71 71; R Lee 70 72; B Nelson (US) 68 74; D R Jones 76 66; M Clayton (Aus) 72 70; W Riley (Aus) 71 71; P Walton 72 70; M Gates 70 72; P Lawrie 71 71; I Palmer (SA) 71 71. 143 J McHenry 72 71; M Besanceney (Fr) 68 75; M Lanner (Swe) 73 70; J Van de Velde (Fr) 72 71; M Sunesson (Swe) 74 69; G Hjertstedt (Swe) 69 74; R McFarlane 74 69; F Regard (Fr) 72 71; D Clarke 71 72; S Luna (Sp) 72 71; J Coceres (Arg) 75 68; P Teravainen (US) 73 70; T Levet (Fr) 73 70; P Fulke (Swe) 73 70; J Spence 72 71; S McAllister 74 69.

Comments