Davies disappointed as Donald takes Madrid Masters lead

Luke Donald leads at halfway in the Madrid Masters after Welshman Rhys Davies just failed to crown his 25th birthday by taking top spot.

Former Walker Cup player Davies, who has already won in his first full season on the European Tour, was tied for the lead with two holes of his second round to play yesterday.

But a bogey on the short 17th robbed him of top spot and he then missed a nine-foot birdie chance at the last on a day which saw Sergio Garcia miss his first halfway cut on European soil for nearly six years.

"I was a little disappointed the way I finished," said Davies. "I thought I could have got the lead on my own, but all in all I'm not going to complain. I'm right in with a shout."

A week after losing the BMW PGA Championship by a shot – and that after a double bogey on the penultimate hole – Donald leads on 12 under par after adding a 67 to his opening 65. Alone of the three first-round leaders to have a morning start, Donald went six clear of the field when he turned in 31 and then added further birdies on the second and sixth.

But he three-putted the seventh and bogeyed the next hole after plugging in a bunker.

"It's hard to play perfect golf for four days, but the two bogeys were not really bad shots and I feel like I have a lot better control with my irons this week," said the 32-year-old, who despite being 13th in the world has not had a win in Europe for six years or anywhere in the last four.

"I keep knocking at the door and hopefully it will open soon. I feel like I should have won a few in the last few years, but I'm in a great position here."

Davies was on the practice putting green when he saw Donald's score, but promptly went out in 33 and, after stumbling with a bogey six at the 10th, had three more birdies in four holes.

Two shots further back in third place is Davies' compatriot Jamie Donaldson. He was the other man to open with a 65, but could add "only" a 70.

Garcia, level par overnight, knew he needed to find form in a hurry after finding water with his second shot and resuming with a double bogey seven.

He did manage six birdies, but five bogeys followed to leave him with a 73 and one-over aggregate.

"Nobody likes to miss a cut in front of your home crowd," said Garcia. "I'm just not playing well enough."

Ulsterman Graeme McDowell, who discovered this week that he had kept his place in the world's top 50, is in fourth on eight under after a second successive 68.

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game