Golf: Ballesteros' flight of failure

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The Independent Online
SEVE BALLESTEROS led a trail of leading players to Nice airport last night, all early departures from the Cannes Open.

While the Australian Rodger Davis (64) and Swede Pierre Fulke (66) cruised to 10 under par half-way totals of 132, out went Ballesteros, three other members of the last Ryder Cup team - David Feherty, Steve Richardson and Mark James - and captain Bernard Gallacher as well, after he had started the day one off the lead.

Ballesteros failed to conjure up a single birdie as he added only a 73 to his opening 71 and has now bowed out early in four of his last five and seven of his last 12 European tour events. 'I just didn't play well. That's all there is to say,' said the Spaniard, who finished 11th in the Masters earlier this month.

Gallacher, a part-time golfer these days, tumbled to an 80, 13 strokes worse than his first-day effort. 'Everything went wrong today whereas everything went right yesterday,' he said.

Feherty has now missed four cuts in a row, Richardson his last three and James three of his last five after beginning the year with two victories.

Davis, who sunk seven of his nine birdies with putts of no more than five feet, and Fulke hold a two-shot lead over the Australian rookie Jamie Taylor. Jamie Spence and Manuel Pinero are a stroke further back on seven under.

AIR FRANCE CANNES OPEN (Cannes Mougins) Early second round scores (GB and Irl unless stated): 132 R Davis (Aus) 64, P Fulke (Swe) 66. 134 J Taylor (Aus) 66. 135 J Spence 67, M Pinero (Sp) 66. 136 P O'Malley (Aus) 67, B Lane 68, J Rivero (Sp) 66, D Hospital (Spain) 66. 137 S Field 66, S Struver (Ger) 67, C Montgomerie 70, S Torrance 69, P Mitchell 68. 138 A Murray 68, G Cali (It) 70, R McFarlane 71, C Mason 70, J Coceres (Arg) 69. 139 D R Jones 70, M Besanceney (Fr) 71, M Farry (Fr) 67, J Parnevik (Swe) 69, M Poxon 71, M McNulty (Zim) 70.