Golf: Faldo on the slide in Ryder chase

WITH TWO rounds to play before the European Ryder Cup team is finalised, Padraig Harrington has done himself most favours, Bernhard Langer quite a few but Nick Faldo hardly any. Both Harrington and Langer need to finish no worse than third at the BMW International to jump up into the top ten automatic qualifiers and probably better after Robert Karlsson, whose 10th place is the one under attack, made the cut.

Harrington, a three-time Walker Cup player from Dublin, is right on course after adding a second-round 67 to his opening 66. At 11 under he shared the lead with Colin Montgomerie, one ahead of David Park, who followed his 62 on Thursday with a 72.

Two years ago, in a similar position, Harrington was leading the tournament but slipped down the leaderboard to miss out on a team place. "I hope the next two days are a washout, but I can't expect that. I have got to prepare to do battle with Monty. If you can beat him you usually aren't doing too badly," he said.

Langer, no stranger to performing when the pressure is on, pulled himself up from three under overnight to seven under with a 68 despite feeling a touch of flu coming on. The German is tucked behind the leaders, still with every opportunity for a weekend charge to his 11th victory in Germany.

Faldo, however, could not build on his first-round 67 and, worse, fell backwards with a 74. He has no chance of qualifying but was still trying to impress captain Mark James, but the lack of communication from the skipper suggests it was always a forlorn hope. "It's no fun going backwards," Faldo said. Two years ago, when his form had not been scintillating but was a darn sight better than this season, Seve Ballesteros had already given Faldo the nod. "He said I was in but not to tell anyone," Faldo recalled.

"Everything we said then was baloney. This time its true. I am in the dark. Mark has not spoken to me since the B and H [in May]. Is it all going to be about two rounds? If I shoot two 65s over the weekend and don't win, does it mean any more than shooting two 75s?"

But James has made it a policy not to speak to anyone in contention, remembering the misunderstanding between Bernard Gallacher and Jesper Parnevik in 1995. Parnevik changed his schedule despite his wife expecting, but when he did not get in he was not picked.

"I thought it was best to say little to avoid another misunderstanding," James said. "There are probably more than a dozen people in the same position but I haven't said anything to anyone. What I might say could fluctuate every day."

Karlsson finished at three under and as well as Harrington could be overtaken by Andrew Coltart, who is six under. The Scot probably needs to be better than eighth but was not even sure of making the cut until he played the last six holes in four under.

But for the five players who must win to have any chance of qualifying, including England's John Bickerton, who is at eight under, the ominous sight of Montgomerie making his inevitable way towards the top of the leaderboard must have sunk a few hearts. "If I stop other people qualifying I can't help that," Monty said. "I'm here to win this tournament and today was a good start."

He was not happy about his first-round 69 but had been trying out a new set of irons which he promptly ditched for the old reliables. He immediately produced an eight-under 64. Assured of topping the Ryder Cup qualifying, he had sympathy for those chasing a place.

"Anyone who has a goal this week and achieves it, all credit to him," Monty said. "I wouldn't like to be in that position, just as I'd never like to go back to the Qualifying School. It's no fun."

n Laura Davies stepped up her campaign for a third win of the European season with a second-round 69 in the Compaq Open at Osterakers, near Stockholm, yesterday. Sharing the lead with Sweden's Helen Alfredsson after an opening 67, the Briton set an early target of 10- under 136 to lead by six from America's Sherri Steinhauer, the winner of last week's Weetabix British Open at Woburn.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Application Engineer - Flow Metering

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Application ...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on