Golf: Payne is left to suffer

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FRANK NOBILO of New Zealand took advantage of a nightmare run by England's Jim Payne to lead the Mediterranean Open by two strokes with one round remaining at the El Saler course in Valencia yesterday. Payne, the 22- year-old from Lincolnshire, was four clear at one point yesterday, but dropped six shots in the last seven holes and is now six shots off the pace.

While last season's Rookie of the Year collapsed to a 78, Nobilo equalled the best round of the week with his 67 to reach a nine- under par total of 207. Sam Torrance with a 68, and Mark Roe, who scored 70, lie joint second on seven-under, with Glenn Ralph, Roger Chapman and the Frenchman Thomas Levet a further stroke behind.

Payne said: 'It was just one of those days, but it does not hurt as much as you might think because I know I tried on every shot.' After being bunkered at the short 12th, he went through the green at the 14th and bogeyed that as well. He was, though, unlucky on the next. His drive was lost in trees and he had to go back to the tee. He eventually recorded a double bogey seven and let further strokes go at the 16th and 18th for an inward 42. Nobilo, by contrast, played the last 10 holes in five under to burst from the pack.

Scores, Sport in Short, page 27