Golf: Faldo folds to increase Ryder fears

NICK FALDO had already packed his bags and admitted yet another defeat when lightning halted the Peugeot Spanish Open in mid-afternoon in Barcelona yesterday.

A dismal second-round 76 - one of the worst scores of the day on an El Prat course yielding birdies and eagles galore - resigned Faldo to a sixth missed cut in 10 starts this season. There were no excuses from the former world No 1, whose slump has taken him down to 99th in the current rankings and put him in danger of missing out on the Ryder Cup for the first time in his 23-year professional career.

"It's me," sighed Faldo after coming in on the two-over-par mark of 146 and looking up to see the Scotsman Paul Lawrie and Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin sharing the lead 14 strokes ahead of him. "I played badly and putted badly. Do you need to know any more? I've a bit of work to do - I've got to get the stroke right."

Two early three-putts undid the good of an opening 70, but putting could not be blamed for the two double-bogeys that followed. First he hit a drive under one tree; then he lost a ball in another.

Faldo plays next at the Benson and Hedges International at The Oxfordshire in three weeks, by which time he will have gone more than 26 months since his last solo success. His last European victory was five years ago.

His 1999 tale of woe began with missed cuts in South Africa and Dubai, a first-round drubbing from Tiger Woods at the Andersen Consulting world matchplay championship in California, then two more missed cuts in Florida. The 41-year-old actually led the Players' Championship after nine holes last month but shot a third-round 83 and was disqualified in the final round after losing another ball in a tree and taking a wrong penalty drop underneath it.

Worse was to come, though. He began the Masters with an 80 two weeks ago and missed the cut for the third successive year. Now this, a day on which playing partner Seve Ballesteros outscored him by seven.

Ballesteros has gone five years without a win anywhere, is outside the world's top 450 and had missed his first six halfway cuts this season. But his 69, containing four birdies and a 15-foot eagle putt, lifted him to two under, and he had to wait to see if that was good enough to give him his first weekend work for nearly six months.

Meanwhile, Lawrie and Sandelin both repeated their opening rounds of 66 and on 12 under led Kent's Jamie Spence by one with half the field still to finish following the one-hour hold-up. The Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal, and highly rated Spanish youngster Sergio Garcia were among them. With seven to play, Olazabal was one under and battling to stay alive, while with six to go Garcia, in his debut as a professional, was still five under. He had three more birdies but also a triple-bogey seven on the eighth after losing a ball in a tree like Faldo.

Lawrie, the 30-year-old from Aberdeen, has already won the Qatar Masters this season, and the pounds 100,000 first prize on Sunday could take him sixth in the Ryder Cup table. He had no fewer than nine birdies, the best of them when he came within four inches of a hole-in-one at the 180-yard 17th. "I think this course suits me," he said. "There are a lot of shots of 120 yards and in, and that's the strongest part of my game."

Big-hitting Sandelin is currently 13th in the cup race - five places ahead of Lawrie - and his 66 began with four straight birdies while Spence, seeking his first victory since a closing 60 gave him the 1992 European Masters, led by one with three to play, but in a strengthening wind bogeyed the 16th and 18th.

SPANISH OPEN Early second round leaders: 132 J Sandelin (Swe) 66 66, P Lawrie 66 66; 133 J Spence 65 68; 135 P McGinley 67 68; 136 P Eales 69 67, A Salto (Sp) 73 63, E Canonica (It) 72 64, M Jonzon (Swe) 67 69, G Evans 72 64; 137 M Roe 73 64; 138 V Phillips 69 69, R Winchester 71 67, D Borrego (Sp) 68 70, S Luna (Sp) 71 67, T Levet (Fr) 69 69, P O'Malley (Aus) 71 67, D Smyth 74 64;

139 A Beal 71 68, I Garbutt 72 67, C Rocca (It) 69 70, S Hansen (Den) 71 68, P Price 70 69, P Harrington 71 68; 140 R Karlsson (Swe) 70 70, MA Jimenez (Sp) 72 68, P Fulke (Swe) 70 70, S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 71, W Bennett 70 70. Other selected scores: 142 S Ballesteros (Sp); 144 P Sjoland (Swe), S Torrance; 146 N Faldo.

Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice