Germany’s Marcel Siem took over the lead at the Andalucian Open in Seville from Scot Chris Doak today.
While European Tour rookie Doak, one ahead after his opening 66, had a mixed bag of everything from an eagle two to a double bogey, Siem added a 67 to his opening 68.
That lifted the former World Cup winner to nine under par, two ahead of Swede Michael Jonzon and England’s Graeme Storm, and even after a closing three-putt bogey he said: “I was pretty calm, which is unusual for me.
“I said to my caddie that I felt like Retief Goosen – I don’t have any emotions. But if you play well it’s a lot easier.”
Doak managed only a front nine 39, but after dropping another stroke on the short 11th he pitched in for his eagle at the next and birdied two holes later.
At five under the 31-year-old from Greenock, ranked a lowly 1,329th in the world, was still “only” 10th and among the players ahead of him was Colin Montgomerie.
Playing his 500th Tour event as a professional Montgomerie opened with a 67 and resumed this afternoon with a birdie three to climb into a tie for fourth on six under.
Double Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal was missing the cut on four over following a second successive 74, but he said afterwards he would be heading to Augusta in two weeks’ time unless his health deteriorates.
This was only the fifth tournament for Olazabal since last May because of continuing problems with rheumatism in his shoulders and fatigue.
“If there is no setback I will be there,” he said. “I just played badly. That’s all – simple.
“I’m not expecting to play well after such a long lay-off. It’s going to take time before I start feeling comfortable.”
Any hopes Swede Peter Hanson had of gaining the third place he needed to have a chance of climbing into the world’s top 50 in time for The Masters appeared just about over when he followed bogeys at the opening two holes with a double on the next.
But Hanson birdied three of the last four holes and at level par was likely to squeeze into the final two rounds.
Storm, having started with four birdies in a row, closed with a seventh of the day and his 66 meant he went into the weekend one behind Siem.
“I had my clubs stole from the clubhouse in Dubai and it put me back a bit,” said the Hartlepool golfer.
“It’s nice to be playing well again, although I got lucky a couple of times in the rough – yesterday I had one where I could move it only four yards.”
Montgomerie slipped four back when he bogeyed the second.