Golf: Faldo on the slide in Ryder chase
Saturday 21 August 1999
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.
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Phil Hughes: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...