Resurgent Roe stung into action by wasp

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The Independent Online

Mark Roe, as injury prone a golfer as they come and sometime serial spaghetti thrower, made a welcome return to form with a second successive 66 to lead the Lancôme Trophy at 10 under par. Roe had been a doubtful starter after being stung on the left wrist by a wasp as he completed his first round on Thursday evening.

Walking around with his left hand held high to prevent the poison spreading, Roe found his swing unaffected despite his wrist swelling to three times its normal size. "I hope I get stung on the other wrist tonight," Roe said. "At the moment, it does not hurt to hit a shot. It just feels like the wrist is on fire. But if the swelling spreads to my fingers, then I wouldn't be able to hold a club." The on-course doctor prescribed antihistamines but said the best treatment would be a steroid injection. However, that would involved taking substances on the banned list in France and due to government policy, this is one of the few countries where drug testing is likely to take place at golf tournaments.

One of his three Tour victories, in 20 years as a professional, came at St Nom-la-Bretêche in 1992. It was to the putter he used then that he turned this week after abandoning a five-year experiment with the long-putter. "I found this one in the back of the garage," he explained. "Most of my old putters don't make it that far, they finish up a tree or in the bin." A livewire in his earlier days on Tour, Roe was hit on the head by an amateur playing another hole during a pro-am at the Forest of Arden in 1995. He suffered severe headaches for some time and then in 1999 he tore ligaments in his left hand while he was grabbing for the dog collar of his springer spaniel, Mookie.

He missed half of the 1999 season and all of 2000 and only returned to the Tour in March this year, with a best result of 22nd at the Scottish PGA last month. At 131st in the Order of Merit, he needs a good finish to secure his card for next season. Such matters, however, have been put firmly in perspective of late.

"I would be lying to say I am not concerned but I now have 11-month-old twin daughters and when I get home and see them, it doesn't seem so important. Obviously, in light of current world affairs, golf is not important. On Monday, I sat in the funeral of a close friend of my wife who died from cancer at the age of 38 and came here thinking golf is golf and life is life. There are so many more important things in life than golf."

Sergio Garcia had a run of eight birdies in 10 holes in his 65 to finish one behind Roe with Sunningdale's Anthony Wall. Garcia's streak started at the fourth after he had bogeyed the second and the third.

The young Spaniard returned from St Louis, after the World Championship was cancelled, on the players' charter last Friday and spent a few days at home in Spain. "My mum was pretty worried about me and it was nice to spend a few days with my family," he said. Retief Goosen failed to advance on his seven-under of the previous day and was one behind fellow South African Jean Hugo and England's Steve Webster.

But Colin Montgomerie missed the cut at one over after a 68. "Not to worry, I think it is just a reaction to losing the Ryder Cup," the Scot said. "If the Ryder Cup was to be played, I think you would find I would have had a different score."

LANCOME TROPHY (St Nom-La-Bretêche) Leading second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 132 M Roe 66 66. 133 S Garcia (Sp) 68 65; A Wall 68 65. 134 J Hugo (SA) 66 68. 135 R Goosen (SA) 64 71; SP Webster 67 68; N Fasth (Swe) 69 66 136 G Emerson 66 70; H Nystrom (Swe) 70 66, G Storm 71 65. 137 R Coles 67 70; P Price 70 67; J Berendt (Arg) 69 68; G Houston 69 68; A Coltart 66 71; S Struver (Ger) 69 68; S Dyson 69 68. 138 A Oldcorn 71 67; G Owen 68 70; F Jacobson (Swe) 71 67, Van Phillips 70 68. 139 S Gardiner (Aus) 66 73; J Van de Velde (Fr) 70 69; A Scott (Aus) 69 70; M Brier (Aut) 73 66; E Romero (Arg) 67 72; S Luna (Sp) 71 68; D Carter 72 67; R Jacquelin (Fr) 68 71; M McNulty (Zim) 71 68, I Woosnam 68 71, G Orr 66 73, R Karlsson (Swe) 67 72; M Lundberg (Swe) 66 73; J Bickerton 68 71; P Baker 67 72; P Eales 69 70, P Hanson (Swe) 71 68; M Mackenzie 69 70; F Andersson (Swe) 71 68; E Canonica (It) 72 67. 140 A Cabrera (Arg) 72 68; J Haeggman (Swe) 69 71; J Lomas 69 71; T Levet (Fr) 68 72, G

Brand Jnr 71 69; D Robertson 69 71, C Cevaer (Fr) 73 67, J Robinson 71 69. 141 R Claydon 68 73; D Lynn 70 71; D Borrego (Sp) 70 71; C Suneson (Sp) 69 72; N Colsaerts (Bel) 68 73; C Pettersson (Swe) 70 71; P Nyman (Swe) 74 67; M Scarpa (It) 69 73; E Simsek (Ger) 69 73; D Gilford 68 73;B Lane 72 69; G Rankin 69 72. 142 B Dredge 71 71; J Moseley (Aus) 71 71; M Mouland 75 67; I Garbutt 73 69; S Leaney (Aus) 70 72; B Rumford (Aus) 70 72; J Rivero (Sp) 71 71; O David (Fr) 71 71; R Johnson (Swe) 70 72, T Immelman (SA) 70 72, P Mitchell 71 71, M Lafeber (Neth) 71 71; D Howell 71 71; M Pendaries (Fr) 73 69; R Russell 75 67; O Edmond (Fr) 73 69. Missed the cut: Selected: 143 P Lawrie 72 71; C Montgomerie 75 68; D Higgins 74 69; D Park 72 71. 144 C Rocca (It) 74 70; S Dodd 73 71; R Chapman 69 75; M Pilkington 70 74; D Lee 74 70. 145 M Blackey 73 72; T Johnstone (Zim) 68 77; P Broadhurst 72 73; P Streeter 71 74. 146 D Smyth 75 71. 147 G Murphy 74 73; M Santi (It) 76 71. Retired: I J Spence. Withdrew: E Darcy.

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