Golf: Torrance happy with torrent

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SAM TORRANCE finished up winning the Heineken Catalan Open without hitting a ball yesterday when a combination of snow, hail, rain and thunder and lightning resulted in the final day's play being called off.

Torrance, three in front of the American Jay Townsend after he had completed Saturday's third round on a 15-under par total of 201, had an anxious wait of over six hours at the Osona Montanya course before the decision was taken.

The Scot punched the air and headed for the clubhouse to celebrate his second victory in a month. This was made all the sweeter by a subsequent announcement that he would receive the full pounds 50,000 first prize and his full quota of Ryder Cup points, which move him to 14th in the table and fifth in the European Order of Merit.

Play did begin before noon, but then came the violent storm. Less than half the 70-strong field had teed off before they came rushing in after only 50 minutes. 'Obviously I didn't want to play but I resigned myself to having to,' Torrance said. 'There was even a rumour that we would carry on on Monday.'

The last time a European Tour event failed to run the full distance was in 1990, when Ian Woosnam won the Mediterranean Open in southern Spain after 54 holes.