Golf: Garbutt heeds advice

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IAN GARBUTT stormed into contention for his first European Tour title with a second 67 in yesterday's second round of the Turespana Masters. The 26-year-old from Doncaster had six birdies and dropped just one shot in near-perfect conditions over the Parador course.

Garbutt, whose 10-under 134 is his best two-round total on tour, is one of the ever expanding group of players handled by the International Sport Management Group run by the former professional Chubby Chandler.

He admitted to being inspired by the exploits of stablemates Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood. "There's a good feeling in the stable and it's good to see the other guys doing so well," said Garbutt, a former English Amateur champion. "I've never really come close to winning a tournament, but I'm getting nearer and if I keep playing each weekend I'm going to give myself a chance. I've gained some valuable experience over the last couple of years and Chubby gives us plenty of advice."

It was a piece of advice from coach Pete Cowen, however, that has proved the key this week, a putting tip helping Garbutt shoot four birdies in a row from the 14th, and his score would have been even better but for a putt that horseshoed round the hole on the first.

Garbutt and Gary Orr, who were among 12 players starting the day tied for second on five under, both fell victim to the par-four fifth for their only dropped shots of the day, but Orr was more than happy with his second 67.

"Normally I do have a few birdies but throw in a few silly mistakes as well," said the 31-year-old from Helensburgh, who finished second behind Colin Montgomerie in the Volvo PGA Championship last year.

"I've only had one bogey in two days and that's right up my street. I've been putting really nicely, saving par a few times with good seven or eight footers."

Sweden's Fredrik Lindgren ended with a flourish for a 66 with an eagle- par-birdie finish for a total of 133 while Nuneaton's Steve Webster was two shots behind after a second- round 66.

Spain's Ignacio Garrido, a member of Europe's victorious 1997 Ryder Cup team, fired a new course record 63, beating the previous mark by two shots, with a round that contained 11 birdies, just one less than the European Tour record.

Garrido, who had a first- round 73, said: "I didn't play that awful yesterday and I wasn't that good today but this is golf. I also shot 63 in the pro- am on Wednesday."