Golf: Torrents suit Torrance

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The Independent Online
COMPETITORS filled the Pals clubhouse in Spain yesterday, watching the rain ruin the pro-am warm- up for the Catalonia Open which starts today, but Sam Torrance, the defending champion, was not too bothered. The torrents favoured Torrance because he had been suffering from a back strain and he is convinced that the rest day's massage will stop this affecting his game.

The weather also favoured Torrance last year when he won the event, at the nearby Osona Montanya Course, having taken a lead into the final day which had to be cancelled. 'I've played here before so I know the course quite well and I'm looking forward to the tournament' Torrance said yesterday.

Paul Eales from Preston, who lies third in the Volvo Order of Merit, is also optimistic: a top-five finish could put him on top. The same could not be said of Jose-Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros: they have both withdrawn for personal reasons, much to the embarrassment of the sponsors in whose poster campaign they play a prominent part.