Van De Velde suffers at 18th - again

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The Independent Online

A seven at the 18th brought back horrible memories for Jean Van de Velde today.

Ten months after blowing the Open at Carnoustie with a triple bogey at the final hole, Van de Velde's hopes of winning the French Open suffered a severe setback.

This time it came in the second round and was only a double bogey, but instead of being just three behind Spanish leader Fernando Roca the 33-year-old Frenchman dropped five adrift.

Off a perfect drive Van de Velde went for the green with his second - he had little option this time - but failed to carry the guarding lake by several yards. Then with his second ball he left his pitch 45 feet short and three-putted.

At the Open the Ryder Cup player led by three with one to play and was all set to be crowned the first French winner of the title since Arnaud Massy in 1907.

But it all went horribly wrong and Van de Velde has failed to win since. In fact, he still has not won since the 1993 Rome Masters.

Meanwhile, his Ryder Cup team-mate Andrew Coltart made a superb charge, going to the turn in 32 and moving into second place at seven under, one behind Roca.

Coltart, Mark James' surprise wild-card choice for Boston last September and like Van de Velde not given a game until the Sunday singles, birdied three of the first four holes and then had another on the long ninth.

Roca matched three of those birdies, bogeyed the 10th, but then returned to eight under and sole possession of top spot with a three at the difficult 438-yard 12th.

Overnight leader Alberto Binaghi, called into the event only on Tuesday, managed only 38 for the back nine and dropped to four under.

Forced to wait an extra 95 minutes to resume because of fog, the Italian's opening shot was hooked into water and he double-bogeyed.

Playing behind him, Seve Ballesteros hooked even more wildly but incredibly carried the lake and landed on the ninth fairway almost 100 yards away from his intended target.

From there, however, Ballesteros pitched to three feet for a birdie. He had another on the long 14th, holing from 25 feet, but went into water on the next, bogeyed and turned at one under.

That was the same mark as Colin Montgomerie, who was among the later starters.

Dane Anders Hansen and Australian Rodger Davis took advantage of Binaghi's slide, both going to six under and joint third place.