Broadhurst senses end of drought

Former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst is in the hunt for his first European tour victory for nine years after adding a 65 to his opening 67 in the Madrid Open today.

Former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst is in the hunt for his first European tour victory for nine years after adding a 65 to his opening 67 in the Madrid Open today.

But the 39-year-old wishes that Peter Baker, his best friend on the circuit, was still at Club de Campo battling for the title with him.

Instead Baker crashed to a 77 and his failure to make the halfway cut means that he has lost his card after 19 years on the circuit – it also included one Ryder Cup appearance – and will have to make his first-ever trip to the qualifying school next month.

Despite earnings of over £2.7million the Wolverhampton golfer dropped outside the tour’s top 40 career money-winners this season and has now failed to finish in the top 115 on the Order of Merit.

“Too many destructive shots,” he said. “I’ve just got to find a game for three weeks’ time – and I’ve got to enjoy it more. The two go together, I suppose.”

He had come into the week 121st on the money list.

“I’ve been through it myself,” said Broadhurst, who three years fell off the tour and failed to survive the school.

When he went back there 12 months later it was make-or-break time for his career, but he produced a brilliant last round to get his card back and in the two seasons since has won over £400,000.

A month ago he became a father for the fourth time and he added: “I could easily have stayed at home this week because my wife’s not been 100%. But with the Volvo Masters next week I wanted to keep my game ticking over.

“I’ve had a few chances to win this year and it would be nice for the kids if I could do it. They don’t remember the last time!”

In February Broadhurst was in a supermarket queue when someone recognised him and tapped him on the shoulder.

His six-year-old son Sam was with him and told the man: “My dad used to be a really good golfer.”

Seven birdies today showed that he still is and they took him onto the 10 under par mark of 132.

He is a shot ahead of Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, South African Darren Fichardt and Swede Johan Edfors.

Tournament favourite Jimenez, four over par after six holes of his first round, produced a spectacular 63, while Fichardt would have shared top spot but for a closing three-putt bogey and Edfors had a 67 as he continued his bid for the first or second place he needs to keep his card.

Ulsterman Graeme McDowell, sixth on the Order of Merit and loser of a play-off to Stephen Gallacher in the dunhill links championship at St Andrews only two weeks ago, returned a 64 to be two back.

That round was seven better than McDowell’s playing partner Colin Montgomerie, who remained stuck on only three under.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, in only his second event back after nearly six months out with career-threatening back trouble, is only three behind Broadhurst following a 67.

“I’ve been seeing a team at a London spine clinic and hardly hit any balls during my time off,” he said.

“I’m here only to try to get competitive again ready for next season, but everything feels pretty good.”

Jamie Spence’s 66 for five under revived his hopes of keeping his place on tour – he lies 120th – but there is an anxious weekend ahead for Simon Wakefield, currently in the 116th and last card-saving position.

Spence said: “I’ve kept the executioner’s axe off for a few days at least.”

Wakefield added: “I feel physically sick.”

The 30-year-old finished on level par and hoped it might be good enough to survive the cut, but it was not.

A month ago he was lying fourth in the Heritage tournament with a hole to go, but hooked out of bounds and took a bogey six.

It cost him over £10,000 and he could now miss out by a few pence.

Madrid Scores

132 Paul Broadhurst 67 65

133 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 63

134 Anders Hansen (Den) 68 66, Graeme McDowell 70 64

135 Jamie Donaldson 68 67, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 67 68

136 Nick O’Hern (Aus) 67 69

137 Jamie Spence 71 66, Jesus Maria Arruti (Spa) 67 70, Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned) 68 69, Terry Price (Aus) 66 71, Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra) 68 69

138 Mark Foster 71 67, Brian Davis 67 71, Peter Lawrie 71 67, David Park 71 67, Bradley Dredge 67 71, Gary Orr 69 69

139 Stephen Dodd 69 70, Ian Woosnam 72 67, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 70 69, Colin Montgomerie 68 71, Joakim Haeggman (Swe) 73 66, Robert Rock 71 68, James Kingston (Rsa) 71 68, Jose Manuel Carriles (Spa) 70 69, Steven O’Hara 68 71

140 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 71, Gregory Havret (Fra) 68 72, Sebastian Fernandez (Arg) 70 70, Sam Torrance 71 69, Peter Fowler (Aus) 67 73, Andrew Marshall 69 71, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 70 70, Rob Rashell (USA) 70 70, Raymond Russell 71 69, Michael Jonzon (Swe) 70 70, Martin Maritz (Rsa) 68 72, Alastair Forsyth 68 72

141 Stephen Scahill (Nzl) 71 70, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 73 68, David Lynn 71 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 71, Steve Webster 70 71, Martin Wiegele (Aut) 70 71, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 73 68, Pierre Fulke (Swe) 70 71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 73 68, Jamie Elson 72 69

142 Simon Wakefield 70 72, Paul Lawrie 73 69, (x) Jorge Mazario (Spa) 72 70, Jorge Berendt (Arg) 73 69, Diego Borrego (Spa) 73 69, Philippe Lima (Fra) 71 71

143 Fredrik Andersson (Swe) 73 70, Anthony Wall 70 73

144 David Howell 75 69, Martin Erlandsson (Swe) 68 76

145 Christian Cevaer (Fra) 72 73, Carlos Quevedo (Spa) 72 73, Jean-Francois Remesy (Fra) 70 75

146 Juan Vizcaya (Spa) 71 75, Damien McGrane 75 71

147 Tomas Jesus Munoz (Spa) 75 72

148 Martin Lemesurier 77 71

149 Victor Fernandez Grande (Spa) 79 70, Eduardo de la Riva (Spa) 74 75, Jarrod Moseley (Aus) 75 74

150 Peter Hanson (Swe) 75 75

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