Golf: Birdies leave Torrance in bubbly mood

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SAM TORRANCE led the field at the half-way stage of the Kronenbourg Open at Salo, Italy, yesterday, and his immediate reward was to win his own weight in champagne. But the 39-year-old Scot, who is seven under par after a second-round 68, is far more interested in the pounds 33,330 first prize to improve his chances of making the Ryder Cup team for a seventh successive time.

Torrance, who had five birdies, has not won a tour event since the Jersey Open in 1991 and languishes 31st in the Ryder Cup points table. But he is determined to be at The Belfry in September. 'I shall be there . . . whether I'm playing or watching]' he said.

He goes into today's third round with a two-stroke lead over Costantino Rocca, three ahead of Craig Cassells and four ahead of David Gilford, winner of two events this year. Andrew Sherborne, who had led the field after a first-round 67, fell away with 77 to go back to level par for the tournament.

KRONENBOURG OPEN (Salo, It) Leading second-round scores (GB and Irl unless stated): 137 S Torrance 69 68. 139 C Rocca (It) 69 70. 140 C Cassells 71 69. 141 T Gogele (Ger) 70 71; D Gilford 72 69. 142 S Bowman (US) 71 71. 143 S McAllister 70 73; D Ray 75 68; M Moreno (Sp) 70 73; R Claydon 69 74. 144 J Bickerton 69 75; L Jones 71 73; B Marchbank 72 72; I Garbutt 74 70; G Hjerstedt (Swe) 72 72; P McGinley 72 72; M-A Martin (Sp) 74 70; J Haeggman (Swe) 70 74; A Sherborne 67 77; D Hospital (Sp) 69 75. Withdrawn: I Spencer, T Planchin (Fr). No return: H Clark. Disqualified: H Selby-Green.