More delays at Spanish Open

The Spanish Open in Madrid headed into a marathon last day after another two hours were lost to a thunderstorm this evening.

The Spanish Open in Madrid headed into a marathon last day after another two hours were lost to a thunderstorm this evening.

England's Simon Dyson, France's Gregory Bourdy and Spaniard Carlos Rodiles, last November's qualifying school winner, share the lead on nine under par, but Dyson still has 31 holes to go and the other two 32.

They do not have to worry about the two biggest names in the starting line-up.

Darren Clarke's disappointing season continued when he missed the cut for the fourth event in a row - one in Asia, two in America and now one in Europe.

Ian Woosnam, meanwhile, pulled out after only four holes of his rain-delayed second round suffering from cramp in both his legs. He could not play at all in the Masters at Augusta earlier this month and will see a specialist in London on Monday.

For the third day running play went on until around 9pm because of the earlier delays and just before the action was halted Dyson had his third birdie in five holes to make it a three-way tie at the top.

They are one ahead of Nick Dougherty, but left-hander Stuart Little, who shared the halfway lead with Rodiles and Bourdy, bogeyed the fourth to fall into the group two behind.

Most of Thursday's play was lost and then Friday's action was interrupted as well. At least the forecast for Sunday is better.

Even in an event boasting just one of the world's top 50 - defending champion Niclas Fasth - Clarke failed to make it past the halfway mark following rounds of 75 and 71.

The man from the North needed a birdie at the last to survive on level par, but instead bogeyed it.

Clarke was not helped by a recurrence of a hamstring strain he suffered recently playing football with his younger son Conor.

The Ryder Cup star is already down to 69th in the world rankings and is now likely to fall even more.

Woosnam, who quit the Masters in America earlier this month without hitting a shot in the event, was three over at the time of his withdrawal.

"I can't walk properly and if you can't play if you can't walk," said the 49-year-old former world number one, who has yet to make a penny this year after his season began with missed cuts in Thailand, Singapore and China.

"I just can't get rid of it - it's been a long time now. Just walking to the practice ground I'm knackered and after hitting 20 balls I am out of breath.

"It's like cramp and I keep going into spasm. I feel like I've got to go flat out just to swing and I'm not going to play again until I feel better."

Rodiles and Bourdy have both come close to tasting victory in the past, but each of them has had to go back to the tour school in the last two years.

Bourdy was third in the South Airways Open at the end of 2005 - Retief Goosen and Ernie Els were first and second, so that was no disgrace - while Rodiles lost a play-off to Fredrik Jacobson for the Volvo Masters in 2003 and has two other second places to his name.

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