Golf: Faldo falters in the face of ice-cool Chen: England remain unbeaten and are within sight of the Dunhill Cup semi-finals but Taiwanese volunteer provides the upset of the day

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The Independent Online
AS THE Alfred Dunhill Cup (quality goods as opposed to cigarettes) lurched from the unreal to the surreal, Nick Faldo was defeated by Chen Liang-Hsi. 'I volunteered to play Mr Faldo because I will never have another chance to play him in my life,' Chen said through the chattering teeth of an interpreter.

'I wasn't nervous,' Chen said, 'because I didn't think I had a chance even coming down the last fairway when I was in the lead. I still wasn't nervous. I had never been so cool in my life.' Nor so cold. Chen, the winner of the Lin Kou Open, the General Chih Jou Memorial Cup and the Korea Daily Sport Open, shot a level-par 72 yesterday. Faldo, the winner of three Open Championships including one here in 1990, shot 73.

'He beat me fair and square,' Faldo said. 'I hit some good shots and some bad ones.' Chen's quotes were better. 'I had a good breakfast of ham and two eggs, and now it's over I shall telephone my wife Pan and she will pass on the news to my children.' On one of his favourite courses, Faldo had a double-bogey six at the fourth - he skied his drive - and another at the 12th, where there was a three-stroke swing.

Despite Chen's heroics, England beat Taiwan 2-1 and today they play South Africa. England, who beat Mexico 3-0 on the first day, can afford to lose 2-1 to the South Africans and they will still qualify for the semi-finals tomorrow. This mathematical nicety was lost on Faldo. 'I was not aware,' the England captain said, 'that if I had won today England would not have had to beat South Africa.' Like most players in this tournament, he has not read the small print. What they are aware of is pounds 1m in prize-money, with the winners receiving pounds 100,000 each.

Faldo's blushes were saved by Peter Baker and Mark James, who both scored 71 to beat Yuan Ching-Chi and Chung Chun-Hsing respectively. England are sitting pretty at the top of their cushy group because not only have they two points out of two, they have won five games out of six. If two teams tie on points at the conclusion of the round-robin series today the winner is decided on a countback of games won. At least that is what it says here.

Scotland, humbled by little Paraguay on Thursday, beat Wales 3-0 yesterday to keep the home fires burning. Today, Scotland play the United States and if Colin Montgomerie's team win 3-0 they will go through to the semi-finals.

It was loss Paraguayos yesterday as the United States beat them 2-1, but the point gained by the South Americans could be crucial to Scotland's cause. It came from Angel Franco, who exchanged bogeys with Daly until they exchanged birdies at the 18th. Both went out in 40, both came home in 36, and both had three at the last. Daly, on his best Wild Thing form, decided to finish off little Franco, who is ranked 803rd in the world, at the 18th. The North American pulled out his Killer Whale driver and smashed the ball to the heart of the green, a distance of 354 yards. It nearly hit Anders Forsbrand, who was putting out in his match against Dave Barr. Angel's face did not bat an eyelid. The South American was some 60 yards short of the green after his tee shot and elected to putt through the Valley of Sin. He played an outstanding shot to within six feet of the flag and rolled in the putt for his three to match Daly's birdie. Franco won at the second extra hole, where he rolled in another angelic putt for a birdie-three to a four.

Fred Couples defeated Angel's brother, Carlos, although it was nip and tuck until the 17th. The infamous Road Hole has not taken a brutal toll so far. One of the world's greatest holes has been disfigured by the placement, at the back of the road, of a McDonald's. Is nothing sacred at the home of the Royal and Ancient? Perhaps the addition to the landscape of the fast food bar has taken the venom out of the hole. The perceived wisdom is that the approach shot should be directed towards the M in McDonald's.

Ronan Rafferty and Jose Coceres were probably heading for the D. Rafferty found the tarmac en route to a defeat by Jose-Maria Olazabal and Coceres was also on the road as he was beaten by Tony Johnstone at the third extra hole. It gives rise to a new lyric: hit the road Big Mac.

Alfred Dunhill Cup second-day scores

GROUP 2: South Africa 1 Mexico 2: E Els 73 lost to R Alarcon 72, F Allem 72 lost to C Espinoza 72 at 19th, D Frost 70 bt J Brito 75. England 2 Taiwan 1: P Baker 71 bt Yuan Ching-Chi 76; N Faldo 73 lost to Chen Liang-Hsi 72; M James 71 bt Chung Chun-Hsing 77. GROUP 3: United States 2 Paraguay 1: J Daly 76 lost to A Franco 76 at 2nd extra hole, P Stewart 70 bt R Fretes 73, F Couples 70 bt C Franco 73. Scotland 3 Wales 0: C Montgomerie 67 bt I Woosnam 74, S Torrance 71 bt P Mayo 78, G Brand Jnr 72 bt M Mouland 75. GROUP 4: Australia 1 Japan 2: R Davis 74 lost to Y Mizumaki 73, C Parry 74 bt T Yoneyama 74 at 20th, P Senior 78 lost to T Nishikawa 75. Sweden 2 Canada 1: J Parnevik 72 lost to R Zokol 71, J Haeggman 71 bt J Rutledge 73, A Forsbrand 69 bt D Barr 71. GROUP ONE: Zimbabwe 2 Argentina 1: N Price 71 lost to E Romero 71 at first extra hole; M McNulty 69 bt V Fernandez 71; T Johnstone 76 bt J Coceres 76 at third extra hole. Spain 2 Ireland 1: M A Jiminez 73 lost to D Feherty 72; J Rivero 72 bt P McGinley 73; J-M Olazabal 71 bt R Rafferty 74.

TODAY'S TEE-OFF TIMES

GROUP ONE: Argentina v Ireland: 8.30 J Coceres v R Rafferty; 8.40 V Fernandez v P McGinley; 8.50 E Romero v D Feherty. Zimbabwe v Spain: 9.00 N Price v J-M Olazabal; 9.10 T Johnstone v J Rivero; 9.20 M McNulty v M A Jiminez.

GROUP THREE: Wales v Paraguay: 9.30 I Woosnam v C Franco; 9.40 P Mayo v R Fretes; 9.50 M Mouland v A Franco. USA v Scotland: 10.0 J Daly v S Torrance; 10.10 P Stewart v G Brand Jnr; 10.20 F Couples v C Montgomerie.

GROUP TWO: England v South Africa: 10.40 P Baker v E Els; 10.50 M James v F Allem; 11.00 N Faldo v D Frost. Mexico v Taiwan: 11.10 R Alarcon v Chen Liang-Hsi; 11.20 C Espinoza v Chung Chun- Hsing; 11.30 J Brito v Yuan Ching-Chi.

GROUP FOUR: Canada v Japan: 11.40 D Barr v T Nishikawa; 11.50 J Rutledge v T Yoneyama; 12.0 R Zokol v Y Mizumaki. Australia v Sweden 12.10 R Davis v J Parnevik; 12.20 P Senior v A Forsbrand; 12.30 C Parry v J Haeggman.

(Photograph omitted)

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