Golf: Selby-Green blows his cool in a heatwave

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The Independent Online
PERHAPS it is the heatwave, but the leaderboard had the semblance of a mirage yesterday in that you could not believe what appeared on it, writes Tim Glover from Stockholm. There were Sven Struver, who sounds like an ideal front-runner for the Scandinavian Masters but is, in fact, German; Pierre Fulke, who sounds like a Franco-German but is, in fact, Swedish; Gavin Levenson, a South African who wisely plays in sunglasses; and Vijay Singh, a Fijian who plays in America.

The quartet are the joint leaders at nine under par at the half-way stage at the Drottningholms course, which by next month will probably be covered in snow. At the moment, it is so hot the grass is melting.

None of this is of any concern to Haydn Selby-Green, who was out of sticky Stockholm in no time at all. The first hole is a par four of 268 yards, and therefore of driveable length. There have been a lot of eagles at this hole. Selby-Green, however, twice drove out of bounds at the first in the first round, and recorded a quintuple- bogey nine on the easiest hole on the course.

He followed that with a triple- bogey seven at the third, a bogey five at the fifth and a double-bogey five at the short sixth, at which point he was 11 over par. Selby- Green, who got his Tour card by finishing in the top 40 at the Qualifying School last year, rallied with a birdie at the 10th and was disqualified at the 11th.

He hit a ball that had a different compression to the one he had been hitting all over Sweden. The cynical would suggest that this was no coincidence. After all, Selby-Green, who has missed 10 half-way cuts in 14 appearances on the regular tour this season, stood no chance of surviving here.

The cynic would also point out that under Ping's umbrella sponsorship Selby-Green, by playing in his 15th event, had fulfilled his obligations to the American club manufacturer to earn a dollars 12,000 bonus. The cynic would further argue that playing an 'illegal' ball was about the only way a player could make an early exit without incurring a fine.

The cynic is going too far. Last week, on the smaller Challenge Tour, Selby-Green did himself proud with a hole in one that won him a Saab convertible.

The cut was made at two under par and Ian Woosnam lived to play another round, courtesy of a birdie two at the 17th which put him two under. The trials and tribulations of Colin Montgomerie continued when he took a bogey six at the 18th. It was the only flaw in a round of 68 which left him at four under for the tournament.

Joakim Haeggman, who is at seven under, two off the lead, defended himself over Montgomerie's criticism that he was the slowest professional he had ever played with. 'It's an exaggeration,' Haeggman said. 'I admit I'm slower than Monty, but so are most of the players. I'm not going to change my style just to suit him.'

While there was a lot of support for Fulke and Haeggman, the award for prize Swede after two rounds goes to Mikael Lundberg, an amateur who shot 67 yesterday and is three strokes off the lead.

SCANDINAVIAN MASTERS (Drottningholms GC, Stockholm) Leading second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 135 G Levenson (SA) 67 68; P Fulke (Swe) 67 68; V Singh (Fiji) 68 67; S Struver (Ger) 70 65. 136 M Davis 64 72; M McNulty (Zim) 67 69; P Affleck 64 72; F Nobilo (NZ) 69 67; P O'Malley (Aus) 69 67; M McLean 69 67; P Haugsrud (Nor) 70 66. 137 J Robinson 70 67; D Cooper 67 70; J Haeggman (Swe) 68 69. 138 M Piltz (Fin) 68 70; * M Lundberg (Swe) 71 67; J Bland (SA) 68 70; S Watson 70 68; M Zerman (It) 71 67; P Curry 66 72; R Karlsson (Swe) 70 68; M Roe 66 72. 139 P Eales 69 70; A Coltart 72 67; M Harwood (Aus) 68 71; M-A Martin (Sp) 67 72. 140 C Montgomerie 72 68; F Larsson (Swe) 70 70; M Clayton (Aus) 67 73; G Brand jnr 70 70; D Borrego (Sp) 70 70; G J Brand 70 70; J Parnevik (Swe) 69 71; B Ogle (Aus) 70 70; M-A Jimenez (Sp) 71 69; C Williams 71 69. 141 S Grappasonni (It) 70 71; A Binaghi (It) 68 73; S Luna (Sp) 74 67; P-U Johansson (Swe) 72 69; P Lawrie 71 70; B Langer (Ger) 67 74; A Bossert (Swi) 72 69; O Nordberg (Swe) 71 70; J Townsend (US) 72 69; M Farry (Fr) 69 72; J Spence 68 73; D J Russell 69 72. 142 T Levet (Fr) 69 73; R Claydon 70 72; R Boxall 72 70; S Richardson 70 72; I Gervas (Sp) 71 71; M Miller 68 74; L Westwood 72 70; B Lane 72 70; M Besanceney (Fr) 70 72; A Hunter 72 70; J McHenry 68 74; I Woosnam 71 71; O Sellberg (Swe) 71 71; S Tinning (Den) 72 70; D R Jones 73 69; J Rivero (Sp) 70 72; M Gronberg (Swe) 69 73; P Mitchell 71 71.