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Golf: Payne's painful lesson

JIM PAYNE hopes to benefit from a humbling experience when he resumes his quest for a first victory on the PGA European Tour today. Last week, the 22-year-old Englishman squandered a three- shot, half-way lead in the Mediterranean Open.

Now seven days later at the Turespana Balearic Open, Payne finds himself sharing second place at the half-way stage with the South African, Ian Palmer, and Joakim Haeggman, of Sweden, following a second-round 66 for a five-under-par total of 139, one stroke behind the leader, Steen Tinning, of Denmark.

Payne, the 1992 Rookie of the Year, believes he is a wiser man for last week's wayward third round of 78. 'I think I have learned quite a bit from that,' said the former Walker Cup player, who looks certain to win a tournament sooner rather than later.

'It was too easy to let the mind wander and I spent too much time looking at the leaderboards instead of concentrating on my own game. With a three-stroke lead it's almost inevitable that you start to look ahead and it happened to me. I am pleased to be in contention again so soon because I don't think I will let it happen again.'

Meanwhile Tinning, the 30- year-old Danish player, who is based on the Costa del Sol, returned a second succcessive round of 69 for his leading score of 138. Ronan Rafferty, of Ireland, and the Scot, Stephen McAllister, who both finished on 140 after two 70s, remained in touch with the leaders. McAllister had a chance to join Payne at five under, but bogeyed the final hole.

TURESPANA BALEARIC OPEN (Santa Ponsa, Majorca) Leading second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 138 S Tinning (Den) 69 69. 139 J Payne 73 66; J Haeggman (Swe) 72 67; I Palmer (SA) 71 68. 140 R Rafferty 70 70; A Gillner (Swe) 71 69; S McAllister 70 70; G J Turner (NZ) 70 70. 141 S Richardson 72 69; O Karlsson (Swe) 73 68; F Nobilo (NZ) 72 69. 142 M Bescanceney (Fr) 74 68; M Guzman (Arg) 71 71; R Chapman 72 70; E Romero (Arg) 71 71; F Lindgren (Swe) 70 72; D Cooper 70 72; J Parnevik (Swe) 70 72; J Spence 71 71; A Sherborne 72 70; J van de Velde (Fr) 72 70; J M Olazabal (Sp) 71 71; M Jiminez (Sp) 73 69; R Goosen (SA) 71 71. 143 M Clayton (Aus) 71 72; R Alvarez (Arg) 69 74; M Mouland 74 69; G Evans 70 73; C Rocca (It) 73 70; I Garbutt 72 71; P Baker 70 73; S Field 71 72; J Rystrom (Swe) 70 73; C Moody 77 66; M Davis 71 72; R Mackenzie (Chile) 74 69. 144 D R Jones 76 68; E O'Connell 69 75; D Smyth 72 72; P Lawrie 71 73; W Riley (Aus) 74 70; P Broadhurst 72 72; M Sunesson (Swe) 72 72.