Golf: Spence benefits from low profile

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The Independent Online
JAMIE SPENCE, playing in the worst of the wind, shot a superb second-round 69 for an eight-under-par 136 to stay ahead in the Moroccan Open at Golf Royal de Agadir yesterday.

He is two shots in front of his England colleague, David Gilford, who said after coming home with a 70: 'Jamie must have played an incredible round. By the time I went out, the wind had died down. I had all the best of the weather.'

Last year, Gilford produced two fine closing rounds to win the tournament from Sweden's Robert Karlsson in a sudden-death play-off at the third extra hole. But Spence is playing with such confidence that he will prove difficult to beat - even though he is still without his regular caddie who had to return home at short notice.

The 29-year-old Kent player is being helped by Abdelkader, a local man who speaks no English. 'He smiles a lot when he hands me my clubs,' Spence said. 'If I keep playing like this, he is likely to get a good behaviour cheque.'

Spence began one shot ahead of Gilford and three ahead of Wayne Westner, Stephen Ames and Miguel Angel Martin. He dropped a shot with a bogey five at the seventh, but had birdies at the long 10th and 17th and a magnificent eagle three at the 518-yard 15th, where he hit a 240-yard four-wood to five feet of the pin.

Seve Ballesteros shot a 77 for 150 to qualify by one shot, and Colin Montgomerie (77) is on the same mark, along with Mark James, who shot a 76. Among the men who did not make the cut was Barry Lane, leader of the Ryder Cup points table.

MOROCCAN OPEN (Golf Royal de Agadir) Leading second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 136 J Spence 67 69. 138 D Gilford 68 70. 141 W Westner (SA) 70 71. 142 J Townsend (US) 72 70; S Ames (Trin) 70 72; R Karlsson (Swe) 75 67. 143 D Clarke 76 67. 144 S Grappasonni (It) 72 72; V Fernandez (Arg) 77 67. 145 P Mayo 71 74; R McFarlane 74 71; C Mason 76 69; M-A Martin (Sp) 70 75. 146 M McLean 74 72; S Torrance 74 72; D Curry 72 74. 147 F Nobilo (NZ) 73 74; E Darcy 71 76; M Guzman (Arg) 72 75; M Krantz (Swe) 76 71; A Sherborne 74 73; M Sunesson (Swe) 75 72. 148 R Chapman 75 73; P Eales 75 73; D Smyth 75 73; E Romero (Arg) 76 72; P Fulke (Swe) 76 72; J Parnevik (Swe) 76 72; S Richardson 73 75; S Struver 77 71; A Hunter 75 73, M Poxon 71 77, M Farry (Fr) 73 75. Selected: 149: P Broadhurst 76 73, R Rafferty 77 72. 150: M James 74 76, C Montgomerie 73 77, M Lanner (Swe) 77, 73, A Forsbrand (Swe) 76 74, S Ballesteros (Sp) 73 77. 151: M Roe 75 76.

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