Ramsay in charge at Andalucia

2011-10-29 06:39

Valderrama - Briton Richie Ramsay maintained his Andalucia Masters lead in Spain on Friday as the difficult Valderrama course took its toll on second round scoring.

Ramsay's one-over-par 72 left him five-under-par, 137, two strokes better than Frenchman Gregory Havret (71) and three ahead of Spain's Sergio Garcia (70), who is looking for back-to-back European Tour titles. Miguel-Angel Jimenez (70) lies four off the lead.

Ramsay is a self-confessed Garcia fan, even more so after finishing third behind the Spaniard last week when Garcia pulled off his first win in nearly three years by claiming the Castello Masters title.

Now the 28-year-old Scot may have to hold off Garcia if he is to add the Andalucia title to his maiden win, the South African Open in 2009.

"Sergio is one of my idols and he was awesome last week," Ramsay told reporters after acquitting himself well in strong winds on a course considered the toughest on the European Tour.

"He's got a kind of X-Factor about him and has so much natural ability that people want to watch. I like the way he shapes the ball and that is my game as well.

"Today was really tough in the wind because the greens were so slick. I feel as though I played even better than my first round 65, especially my driving. I just couldn't get the putts to drop."

Only four players are under par as Valderrama, formerly the home of the season-ending Volvo Masters, showed its teeth again.

A determined Havret, second in last year's US Open, battled back from hitting out of bounds on the 11th and running up a double-bogey.

Garcia was one of the few players under par for the day. He appreciated what a tough prospect is still ahead if he is to win for a second successive week.

"Valderrama is a course that can catch you out at any moment, I found that out yesterday," Garcia, runner-up three times in Volvo Masters events, said. "It's asking you to hit every club you have in the bag. You have to play it aggressively but also conservatively. That's the beauty of it for me.

"It would be great to have back-to-back wins but I'm not getting ahead of myself. You can't afford to do that here."

World No 6 Martin Kaymer (75) has a hard task on his hands if he is to win and keep alive his slim order of merit chances, trailing the lead by nine strokes.

Leading Andalucia Masters second-round scores at the par-71 Valderrama course in Sotogrande, Spain on Friday:

137 Richie Ramsay (Britain) 65 72 139 Gregory Havret (France) 68 71 140 Sergio Garcia (Spain) 70 70 141 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 71 70 142 David Lynn (Britain) 71 71 143 Shane Lowry (Ireland) 72 71
Justin Rose (Britain) 72 71
Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 73 70
Alejandro Canizares (Spain) 71 72
Romain Wattel (France) 73 70
Peter Hanson (Sweden) 72 71
Peter Lawrie (Ireland) 70 73 144 Oliver Wilson (Britain) 73 71
Francesco Molinari (Italy) 71 73
Alexander Noren (Sweden) 74 70
Stephen Dodd (Britain) 71 73
Stephen Gallacher (Britain) 68 76
Christian Nilsson (Sweden) 73 71 145 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 73 72
Raphael Jacquelin (France) 73 72 146 Rafael Echenique (Argentina) 73 73
David Drysdale (Britain) 70 76
Ross Fisher (Britain) 67 79
Graeme McDowell (Britain) 73 73
Martin Kaymer (Germany) 71 75