Emerson in credit in pursuit of a new card

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Gary Emerson again thrived on the pressure to keep his European Tour card in the Turespana Majorca Classic yesterday.

The Englishman retained his playing rights for this season by just £44.72, claiming the final card by finishing 116th on the Order of Merit in 2002. On that occasion finishing 44th in the final event of the year was good enough to avoid a 10th visit to the qualifying school.

But Emerson arrived here 141st on the money-list and needing much better in the final two events to survive. And the 40-year-old from Bourne-mouth responded with a superb second-round 64 at Pula Golf Club for a halfway total of 137, three-under-par.

That was just three shots off the lead held by Welshman David Park, who set the clubhouse target at six under by matching Emerson's 64.

Half the 132-man field were unable to complete their second rounds due to a late-afternoon thunderstorm, with Maarten Lafeber, the homegrown winner of the Dutch Open on Sunday, Park's nearest challenger on five under with five to play.

Jose Maria Olazabal was a shot further back after running up a double-bogey five on the 13th, the last hole he played before play was suspended, while his playing partner, Lee Westwood, was one over.