Little and large out in front

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The Independent Online
Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam, playing together in the Perrier Paris Pairs tournament, shot a five-under-par 65 in yesterday's foursomes stage to take the lead after two rounds on 129, 11 under par.

They lead Seve Ballesteros and Jose-Maria Olazabal, and Richard Boxall and Derrick Cooper by one shot.

Montgomerie and Woosnam, beginning at the 10th, five shots behind the overnight leaders, John Bickerton and Daren Lee, had eight birdies on a card marred only by a double-bogey at the 13th and a bogey at the fourth. But the little and large partnership birdied the 12th, 16th, 17th, third and fifth before finishing in a blaze of glory with three successive birdies from the seventh.

Ballesteros and Olazabal shot 67 yesterday but both agreed it should have been a lot better. "We could not putt," Olazabal said. "We had 33 putts and that is far too many."

"We had seven chances of a birdie in the first nine holes," Ballesteros added, "and we missed them all. We parred every hole in the front nine and then bogeyed the 10th where I hit a bad drive. It didn't look too good then but we birdied four of the last six holes which was a lot better."

Boxall, on his 34th birthday, and Cooper, who shot 68, could be considered foursomes specialists. They won the Sunningdale Foursomes for the second time in four years last month but yesterday, starting at the 10th, they began badly with bogeys at the 10th and 13th and might have dropped another shot at the 15th where they were 50 yards from the pin in two, only for Boxall to hit the stick with his pitch and give Cooper a tap-in putt for par.

From that point they had five birdies to go to 11 under but dropped a shot at the seventh.

Bickerton and Lee finished in 72 for 131 and joint fourth place with the Irishman Raymond Burns and Carl Mason, while the holders, Peter Baker and David J Russell, are back in joint sixth place on 132.

Today is the greensomes round, where both players hit tee shots and then choose the best drive whence they play alternate shots.

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