Storm warnings as Ballesteros qualifies

Storms on the course and off it have played havoc with the Madeira Island Open – and in the middle of them all was the towering figure of Seve Ballesteros, who made only his fourth cut in two years.

A tempestuous row with tournament officials on Friday had left the Spanish legend in a fury and convinced that a second round of 75 had blown his chances of qualifying. But the wind continued to howl as the rest of the field struggled to complete their second rounds yesterday, and in the end Ballesteros made it through to the third round with a shot to spare.

Ballesteros's volcanic temper erupted on Friday when he was timed by referees for slow play. He claimed that one official had said: "I don't care" when the five-time Major winner had tried to explain why his three-ball had lost 36 minutes in nine holes. Ballesteros demanded to speak to the press to put his case, and then had a furious argument with the tournament director in the car park.

Almost lost in the furore, Spain's Jesus Maria Arruti led at the half-way point on four under par, one shot ahead of England's Andrew Marshall, Wales's Bradley Dredge and the Swedes Henrik Stenson and Fredrik Andersson.

Meanwhile, Laura Davies mounted a second-round charge with a 66 to lie just two shots behind a quartet of leaders headed by world No 1 Annika Sorenstam at the halfway stage of the Safeway Ping tournament in Phoenix, Arizona.

Davies, who opened with a 69, eagled her opening hole – the long 10th – and ended her round with the last of her five birdies for a nine-under total of 135, setting her sights on her fifth victory over the Moon Valley course.

Sorenstam, who won an astonishing 13 times last year, closed out her round with three birdies for a 66 and shared the lead with the next two players in the world rankings, South Korea's Se Ri Pak and Australia's Karrie Webb, plus Patricia Meunier Lebouc, from France.

Davies, who won the title four years in a row from 1994-97, had only 25 putts, while she proved that her long game is also on song with that opening eagle three. She hit two drivers on the 534-yard hole before holing a relatively straightforward putt.

"I'm very pleased with just two behind at this stage," said the winner of last month's Australian Ladies' Masters. "I reckon 16 to 20 under will be needed to win the tournament. I'm nine under and I'll probably need nine under again over the weekend."

The supremely confident Sorenstam, who shot an historic 59 over the same course in winning the title two years ago, cruised through the opening nine in one-under 35 before stepping up a gear.

She birdied the 10th, the 13th and then the final three holes for an inward 31 to ram home her superiority in her first event of the new season.

Sorenstam, who has accepted an invitation to play in the Bank of America Colonial on the men's PGA Tour in May, suggested: "This season is already going a little better than I expected, and not just golf-wise. Mentally and physically I am feeling very, very strong."

Meunier Lebouc, who broke through with a first win in the US last year, had a 66, while Webb fired a 67 and Pak had a 69.

Lebouc admitted she was in great company. "It's great to be up there with the world's top three," said the 30-year-old. "I love playing in the final group, facing the pressure. That's what makes golf fun."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
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

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game