Golf: Payne makes quick impact

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The Independent Online
JIM PAYNE showed more of the form that could make him a surprise member of Europe's Ryder Cup team in September when he added a 67 to his opening 68 in the Mediterranean Open at El Saler, Valencia yesterday to take the lead in a tournament for the first time in his professional career.

At nine-under-par, the 1992 Rookie of the Year stood three strokes clear of the Swede Jesper Parnevik and four ahead of two more cup hopefuls, David Feherty and Mark Roe.

If he does make the Ryder Cup team Payne, 22, will join an exclusive club. Bernard Gallacher, Europe's current captain, Peter Oosterhuis, Mark James, Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul Broadhurst are the only players to have gone straight from winning rookie honours into the next cup side.

Parnevik, who lost a play-off to Seve Ballesteros for the Majorca Open last season, also shot 67 to move into second place. Four of his birdies came from inside five feet, but the other was a 40-footer on the 432-yard 16th.

Roe, who had a 70, and Feherty, who closed with two birdies for a 69, joined a group including the Australian Mike Harwood and Santiago Luna, who led on the first day. Mark James, twice a winner already this year and the leader of the European Order of Merit, withdrew because of sickness and high blood pressure before his second round.

Jamie Spence, fifth in the Ryder Cup points table, improved 12 strokes on his first-day 81, but missed the cut. So did Steve Richardson, a 76 dropping him to five over - three too many. Bernhard Langer, who twice won the Spanish Open at El Saler and is the course record holder, survived with nothing to spare.

TURESPANA MEDITERRANEAN OPEN (El Saler, Valencia): Leading second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 135 J Payne 68 67. 138 J Parnevik (Swe) 71 67. 139 R Alvarez (Arg) 71 68; M Roe 69 70; D Feherty 70 69; M Harwood (Aus) 69 70; S Luna (Sp) 67 72. 140 M Davis 68 72; J M Olazabal (Sp) 71 69; G Turner (NZ) 72 68; F Nobilo (NZ) 71 69. 141 J M Canizares (Sp) 71 70; G Evans 73 68; T Levet (Fra) 71 70; J McHenry 72 69; P Broadhurst 72 69; A Hunter 72 69; P Baker 70 71; S Torrance 71 70; E Romero (Arg) 68 73; C Montgomerie 69 72. 142 H-P Thuel (Ger) 69 73; C McClellan (US) 70 72; G Brand Jnr 70 72; M Lanner (Swe) 73 69; C Rocca (It) 70 72; R Claydon 72 70; J Hobday (SA) 74 68; G Ralph 74 68. 143 J Robinson 72 71; E O'Connell 75 68; D Gilford 70 73; D W Basson (SA) 72 71; K Waters 72 71; P Way 75 68; R Chapman 72 71; V Singh (Fiji) 69 74. Selected: 146 B Langer (Ger) 72 74. Retired: M James.