Golf: Spain reign as Martin and Luna hold sway

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SPAIN SAW off a monsoon and the United States to take a one-shot lead into the third round of the World Cup here with Miguel Angel Martin on seven under par overall and Santiago Luna five under.

Spain and the second-placed Americans were on the final green when the storm hit. When play resumed, Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara wrapped up their rounds to be seven and four under respectively to leave the United States 11 under on 273.

Sweden burst back into contention, moving into third place at seven under par courtesy of Jarmo Sandelin's six-under 65, which included an outward nine of 30 that eased him to three under par overall. His compatriot Patrik Sjoland recorded a 66 to move to four under.

England's Mark James and Peter Baker racked up 279 for two rounds to take sixth place behind Argentina and Wales. James was one of only two players not to drop a shot in the ultra-humid conditions, recording a 67, while Baker posted a 70.

"I played reasonably well and had a few good chances but the greens are just so difficult," James said. "It would be nice to win but there's still four rounds between us to go."

Baker hit one of the policemen guarding the fairways. "The shot hit him on the shoulder. He never flinched," Baker said. "He didn't cuff me. I just got out of there quickly."

Philip Price kept Wales' chances alive, moving to seven under, while his team-mate, David Park, is one over. Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley advanced their individual scores, but the team slipped, finishing with a combined four-under-par.

Scotland's World Cup winless streak looks set to continue for another year as Colin Montgomerie and Dean Robertson dropped well back to three over par. Montgomerie bogeyed the first and then recorded 16 straight pars before ending his round as it had started, with a bogey.

In the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Miyazaki, Japan, Sergio Garcia shot seven birdies for a 67 and two-round total of 135 to share a two-stroke lead with his European Tour colleague, Thomas Bjorn, after two rounds. Garcia fired four birdies on the final seven holes after offsetting three birdies with a bogey and a double bogey on the front half.

The overnight leader, Kaname Yokoo, and his fellow Japanese Shusaku Sugimoto were next at 137. Lee Westwood, the defending champion, fired a 67 for a share of a three-way tie at 138 with Japan's Tsukasa Watanabe and Hisayuki Sasaki.

In San Roque, Spain, Justin Rose had his second successive 69 yesterday for a four-under- par half-way total of 212 to boost his hopes of surviving the European Tour qualifying school. The 19-year-old from Hampshire, who had a torrid rookie professional year after finishing fourth in the Open at Birkdale last year, holds joint 12th place, eight strokes behind the Spanish leader, Ivo Giner.

At Praia D'El Rey in Portugal, the English pair of Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas enjoyed a final-hole win in the opening-day foursomes of the European Cup. The Senior Men's Tour were unbeaten in the other four matches to end the day leading 3-2.

Scores, Digest, page 25