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Golf: School spoilt by rain in Spain

Officials have reduced the PGA European Tour Qualifying School tournament, normally played over six rounds, to only 72 holes because of continuing bad weather at the San Roque and Guadalmina courses on the Costa del Sol in Spain.

The tournament director, Andy McFee, had earlier extended the programme into a seventh day and then reduced it to five rounds to cope with the almost daily deluge that eventually saturated both venues, but yesterday was forced to concede defeat to the rain.

There were 37 players still out on the Guadalmina course when play was abandoned and probably only 30 of them will resume their rounds today.

Four players are leading the truncated event on eight under par - Dutchmen Chris Van der Velde and Robert-Jan Derksen, Sweden's Fredrick Henge and Luton-born Phil Golding.

The pecking order in the cards is decided on the best last round or third round if necessary, which means that Van der Velde's closing 69 at San Roque earned him the No 1 card. Henge (66 and 71) was placed second ahead of Derksen (67 and 71) and Golding (70 and 71).

Golding finished 10th at last year's Tour School and failed to make enough money on this year's European Tour to keep his player's card.

New Zealand's Michael Campbell, joint third in the 1995 Open, got the No 5 card on 282 and Aberdeen's David Thomson, who finished with a 68 at San Roque, was placed sixth.

There was disappointment for Paul Way, a former Ryder Cup player, and Gordon Sherry, who were denied the chance of producing final-round charges up the rankings. They both finished at three-over 291.