Thursday 19 October 2017

Edfors' charge sends him to top of Seville leaderboard

SWEDEN'S Johan Edfors remembers clearly the moment in last year's US Open final round when he left a putt eight feet short and a New York fan yelled out: "Looks like Jesus, putts like Mary."

There was no need for anything but compliments to come the 34-year-old's way in Seville yesterday, however, as he charged into the Spanish Open halfway lead with an eight-under par 64.

Edfors, who has not shot lower on Tour since a closing 63 won him the 2006 Scottish Open, goes into the weekend 10-under par and one ahead of England's Mark Foster and little-known Spaniard Sebi Garcia-Grout. Ranked only 1,272nd in the world, Garcia-Grout has an English mother and was born with spina bifida, but at the end of last year had a round of 58 in a Spanish tour event. He doesn't have a card for the main circuit and is playing here on a sponsor's invitation.

Shane Lowry and Damien McGrane were best of the Irish in a tie for 15th on five under. Clara's Irish Open champion Lowry had four birdies in the final five holes of his second round 68, while Kells man McGrane held station within striking range of the leaders with yesterday's 71.

toasted

Rarely has one player's misfortune been toasted by so many as Marc Warren's double bogey six on the testing final hole ensured 18 of his fellow professionals, including Darren Clarke, made the cut.

Scot Warren, 29, was two under teeing it up at 18 and with exactly 65 players at one-under or better, it was beginning to look as if those who'd completed the first 36 holes in even par would have the weekend off.

Yet when Warren followed up his bogey four at 17 with another couple of dropped shots at the last, Clarke and Co lived to fight on after spending most of the afternoon on tenterhooks. The Ulsterman deserved good luck after turning his tournament around with an impressive three-under par 69, a six shot improvement on Thursday.

Ricardo Gonzalez probably was the most relieved of all those rescued by Warren.

After grabbing the lead with Thursday's sizzling 65, the Argentine slumped to a 79 yesterday, a nauseating 14-stroke swing in one round.

Open De Espana, Day 3

Live, Sky Sports 2, 12.30

Irish Independent

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