Golf: O'Connor floats to the top

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The Independent Online
IAN WOOSNAM shot a four-under-par 68 for the second day running at the Mercedes German Masters in Stuttgart yesterday to lie in joint eighth place, three shots behind the Irish leader, Christy O'Connor Jnr, but still launched a bitter attack on the 'terrible condition' of the Stuttgarter course which has hosted the event for six years.

'There's so much mud on the fairways,' Woosnam said, after two days of rain. 'I'm here to win a golf tournament and it's a disgrace we don't have preferred lies. There's pounds 600,000 to play for and it's time we had a decent course.'

When Woosnam was reminded that Bernhard Langer was co- promoter of the tournament, he added: 'I just hope that Bernard gets a lot of bad lies, then he might do something about it.' Unknown to Woosnam, Langer had already asked for preferred lies but the PGA tournament director, Andy McFee, decided not to make any change.

O'Connor, after shooting a six-under-par 66 for a 133 aggregate, agreed there should be preferred lies. 'Hitting long irons is a nightmare,' he said, 'and some of the lies are pathetic.'

The 44-year-old, fortunate to miss the afternoon rain, had six birdies on his card and no bogeys. Costantino Rocca, of Italy, closed to within a shot of O'Connor with a second-round 69. Paul Broadhurst shot a 67 for 135, two off the pace, alongside Sam Torrance, the first-round leader, Robert Karlsson, who carded 72, the South African Ian Palmer and the American Michael Allen.

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