Harrington and Poulter battle the elements

Harrington and Poulter battle the elements

Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter showed that good scoring was still possible in foul wet and windy conditions at Valderrama today, but for defending Volvo Masters champion Justin Rose things went from bad to worse.

Harrington picked up shots at the first and fifth, but a bogey two holes later made the Open and US PGA champion four over.

The Dubliner is one of four players for whom this week is also about trying to win the Order of Merit.

Harrington needs a top-two finish to have a chance of overhauling his Ryder Cup partner Robert Karlsson, but was down in 35th spot.

An opening 80 had led to Rose teeing off on his own for the second day running and he struggled to the turn in a sorry 43.

At 17 over par Rose, who at 81st on the Order of Merit had qualified for the ’top 60’ event only by virtue of his play-off victory a year ago, was last by seven and 23 strokes behind overnight leader Soren Kjeldsen.

Poulter, winner four years ago, resumed on five over and joint 43rd, but birdies at the second, third and fifth took him into a tie for 16th.

Karlsson had opened with a two-over 73, as did Miguel Angel Jimenez, while Lee Westwood, who like Jimenez has to win on Sunday, had kept his hopes alive with a one-under 70 for joint fifth spot.

Kjeldsen was one of the two players beaten in sudden death by Rose last November – England’s Simon Dyson was the other – but he was won only one of more than 300 European Tour events in his career.

His sparkling 65, though, had given him a three-stroke lead over favourite Sergio Garcia and they were the last two players to set off again.

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