Garcia shoots 69 to lead by one from Forsyth

Sergio Garcia carded a two under par 69 to grab the outright lead after two rounds of the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in Andalucia.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Sergio Garcia survived a 30-minute discussion with a rules official to card a two under par 69 on Friday and grab the outright lead after two rounds of the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in Andalucia, Spain. The Spaniard stands at six under par for the tournament and leads by one shot from Scotsman Alastair Forsyth who also returned a 69. Englishman Ian Poulter is alone in third place on four under par, after a 67. The second day of the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in Andalucia got underway with a pair of Spaniards, Sergio Garcia and Jose Manuel Lara, in a tie for the lead after opening rounds of 67. But Lara endured a woeful day, falling off the pace with a 79. And, he wasn't the only golfer to have a bad day. Darren Clarke ran up a sextuple bogey 11 on Valderrama's 536-yard 17th, after standing on the tee five under par for the day and joint leader of the tournament. Clarke's third shot spun back into the water and, after being held up twice by a mobile phone ringing, he put two more balls in the hazard. Argentina's Angel Cabrera was one of the players to make a move on Friday. He carded the round of the day, a five under par 66. That left him three shots off the pace on three under par. Cabrera is a shot adrift of Englishman Ian Poulter, who stands alone in third place on four under par. Poulter had a bogey-free round which included four birdies on the back nine, as he returned a 67. That left the European Ryder Cup player well-placed for a challenge over the weekend. To do that, though, Poulter will have to get past a young player who is looking to make his mark with a victory this week. Scotsman Alastair Forsyth stayed in contention with a 69 to go with his opening round of 68. Forsyth mixed five birdies in with three bogeys to close on five under par for the tournament. The Scotsman seemed to find his range with his irons and a few well-judged shots gave the youngster enough birdie opportunities to return a good score. Forsyth should have had a second consecutive 68, but missed a short putt for par on the 18th to end on a disappointing note. The man, though, that everyone will be pushed to catch is Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard, who was the joint overnight leader with former amateur team-mate Jose Manuel Lara, bogeyed the first and double-bogeyed the third hole to drop down the field. But Garcia came back brilliantly, sinking a long birdie putt on the 10th, adding another at the 11th, before almost eagling the 17th after a stunning second shot. Garcia had five birdies on the back nine, including one at the last, where he holed from 10 feet to complete a round of two under par 69. That left him at six under par for the tournament and with a one-shot lead over Forsyth. But before his position was confirmed, Garcia had to survive an 30-minute investigation into whether he had broken a rule by not declaring a second shot off the tee at the third hole a provisional ball, then playing the provisional ball not knowing that spectators had found the original. After a half-hour examination of the circumstances with chief referee John Paramor, Garcia was absolved of any blame and his lead stood. Paramor ruled that Garcia had declared the second ball a provisional and had decided to play it because no one told him the first ball had been found. (AP)