Golf: Woosnam flops as Els bursts four clear

IAN WOOSNAM crashed out of the Heineken Classic in Perth yesterday as Ernie Els burst into a four-shot lead.

Despite an eagle on the long 18th - his ninth hole of the second round - Woosnam, winner in 1996 and runner-up to Thomas Bjorn last year, slumped to a 78 in the blustery conditions. It dropped the 40-year-old ex-world number one and Masters champion, now 39th in the rankings after 18 barren months, down to the five-over-par mark of 149 and on his long way home.

"That was shocking - I can't hit it out of my shadow," said Woosnam. "It's a little bit more than rustiness, and I'm not really in the mood to talk about it right now."

Also out was his former Ryder Cup team-mate Sam Torrance. Doubtful before the start because of shoulder trouble, the 45-year-old Scot could add only a 79 to his opening 78 for a 36-hole total of 157, 13 over.

Els had injury worries of his own last season, thanks to a troublesome back, but now appears fit.

Two weeks ago he won the South African PGA title in Johannesburg and now another victory is already in his sights after a brilliant 66 - a score matched only by defending champion Thomas Bjorn - lifted him clear of the field.

Els, the world No 5, stands on the 13-under-par total of 131 at halfway, with first day pacesetter Jarmo Sandelin (71) now sharing second place with Australian Peter Lonard (67) on nine under.

Four successive birdies around the turn put Els in command, and after a massive 370-yard drive at the downwind 18th set up another, he is now odds-on to take the pounds 108,000 first prize on Sunday.

Former English amateur champion Roger Winchester, back on the European tour after five years of struggle, had shared second place with Els overnight, but managed only a 74 to drop to joint ninth place on five under.

Local knowledge proved a useful weapon as Britain's Lisa Hackney bounced back to form with a five-under-par 67 in the second round of The Office Depot Tournament at Ibis Golf and Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Solheim Cup star Hackney missed the cut in the opening two tournaments of the season in Florida, but she succeeded with a round of four birdies and an eagle, giving her a four-under total of 140, four shots behind the joint leaders, Karrie Webb of Australia and the American Betsy King.

In Arizona, Justin Leonard hit a 4-under 67 on Thursday to beat the darkness and give him a one-shot lead over Paul Azinger in the suspended first round of the Phoenix Open.

Beginning his second tournament of 1999, Leonard recorded his fifth straight round below par. He tied for fifth at the season-opening Mercedes Championships, carding no round worse than 72 on the par-73 course.

A one-hour delay due to early frost caused play to be suspended by darkness with 45 golfers still on the course in Scottsdale.

David Duval, who had a final-round 59 in last week's Bob Hope Classic and is already going for his third tournament win of the year, was two over after 16 holes, while Tiger Woods was two-over after 14.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London