Edfors in charge in sunny Seville

SWEDEN’S Johan Edfors remembers all too 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 the European 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 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 does not have a card for the main circuit and is playing this week on a sponsor’s invitation.

Both Edfors and Foster were in Korea last week and Edfors suffered badly from jetlag during his opening 70.

“I hardly slept on Wednesday night, probably just two hours, and was almost dizzy in the warm-up on the range,” he said.

“On the back nine I was really, really tired and lucky to hang in there, but today I gave myself good chances and it was fun to make a few.”

Foster was round in 66, making birdies at four of his last five holes and finishing with a superb three-wood over the water and onto the green at the long ninth as the wind picked up.

Edfors has not won on the circuit since Loch Lomond, but Foster has to go back seven years for his one and only success in nearly 250 events.

Big shock of the day was that overnight leader Ricardo Gonzalez, having opened with a 65, crashed to a 79 and, along with Darren Clarke, survived the cut with nothing to spare on level par.

Of the Irish contingent, Damien McGrane went one under after a birdie on his second hole. But two bogeys on the 4th and 7th holes left him one over at the turn. Then three birdies on 12, 13 and 16 pushed him back to 2 under for the day until he bogeyed 16 to finish on 71 and five under overall.

Shane Lowry went through the first nine on level par following a birdie on the 12th and then a bogey on the 16th. A four-under-par back nine left him five under for the tournament.

The 2008 Open de España winner Peter Lawrie had his hopes dashed when he carded three bogeys through his first nine holes to end the day on six over.

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