Torrance kept waiting for payday

SAM TORRANCE, fortunately not looking at scoreboards that credited him with a double bogey six at the 15th when he actually carded a par four, finished with a 68 for a three-round aggregate of 209 at the Mercedes German Masters yesterday. It left him 10 shots behind the overnight leader Russell Claydon, who was on 17-under 127 after two rounds but had not begun his third round when Torrance finished.

The 42-year-old Torrance was reasonably happy, for it was his best round of the tournament so far. But he needs a high finish today to collect a sizeable cheque which will put him well clear of Colin Montgomerie at the head of the Volvo Order of Merit.

Torrance is pounds 980 behind Montgomerie, who withdrew with wrist trouble after the first round, but the Scot knows he will return to the No 1 spot, as the lowest prize here is more than pounds 1,500.

Torrance, starting at three under par, went out in 34 with birdies at the fourth, fifth and eighth and had further birdies at the 13th, 17th and 18th. His only mistakes came at the short 12th and 16th where he dropped shots through missing the greens but was surprised to learn he had been marked down for a double bogey six at the 15th.

Now Torrance must wait and see how Bernhard Langer, 11-under but still waiting to play his third round, does today.

Langer is third, pounds 128,000 behind Torrance, in the Order of Merit and usually does well in his native Germany. "Even if Bernhard wins here, which is not impossible, he will still be pounds 20,000 behind me with just the Volvo Masters in Valderrama to come. So I'm still in the best position," said Torrance.

Langer made the worst possible start from Torrance's point of view, for the German superstar began with a birdie three then an eagle three at the 525-yard second and parred the short third to be 14 under par.

It left Langer just three shots behind Claydon, who parred the first hole, and Forsbrand, who had a birdie three at the first to move into the joint lead at 17-under.

Peter Mitchell was also 14-under alongside Langer after birdies at the second and third.