Garcia and Jimenez hit heights in Alps - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Garcia and Jimenez hit heights in Alps

Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez and promise to serve up something special for the weekend after proving a cut above the rest on day two of the European Masters. Spain's, and arguably the continent's, two most prized fighters were once again occupying first and second on the leaderboard after a pulsating second day in the Swiss mountains.

Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez and promise to serve up something special for the weekend after proving a cut above the rest on day two of the European Masters. Spain's, and arguably the continent's, two most prized fighters were once again occupying first and second on the leaderboard after a pulsating second day in the Swiss mountains.

The Ryder Cup team-mates produced the thrills to match the views at the Crans-sur-Sierre course. A typically flamboyant Garcia set a fierce pace early on in the day with a magical second-round score of 65, including eight birdies - seven of them in the final 11 holes - to finish the day on 11-under-par.

Jimenez, 40, looked set to return to the outright lead after sinking six birdies but he dropped a shot at the 17th to trail the younger man by a single shot.

"It was very nice to finish that way, especially with four birdies," said Garcia. "I felt I played pretty solid all day. Some of the pins were quite tough and difficult to get to but I felt comfortable all day. I hit a couple of bad shots but they were only about three yards off."

The Spanish showdown was not the only thing exciting the European captain Bernhard Langer as on their trail was the Ryder Cup wild card winner Luke Donald at seven-under.

The 26-year-old rookie from Hemel Hempstead finished with another fine round of four-under to stay level with South African Charl Schwartzel and just three shots off the pace.

The European gang would also have had Maarten Lafeber for company at the top of the leaderboard but for a spectacular collapse on the back nine. The 29-year-old Dutchman from Eindhoven was on high in the Alps after making seven birdies in the first 10 holes, but then dropped three successive shots.

Lafeber seemed to settle down with three pars thereafter but his round blew up in his face at the last, with a disastrous double-bogey six at the final hole to slip completely off the leaderboard, at five-under.

But lurking in the background was Eduardo Romero, who finished day two on seven-under, while Ernie Els hit the leaderboard late with a round of 67 to move to six-under.

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