Of those who figured on day one of the Peugeot Open de España, it was Spaniard Juan Quiros who maintained his form to take the halfway lead in his national Open. At eight under par Quiros holds a one shot lead from England’s Gary Evans and just a shot further back on six under lie Colin Montgomerie and New Zealand’s Stephen Scahill.
Quiros added a second round 70 to his opening 66 on a sunny, but windy afternoon at PGA Golf de Catalunya. As much as he may have been surprised to find himself at the top of the leaderboard, third placed Montgomerie was dismayed that he had not taken advantage of play which he felt deserved a 65, but which resulted in a one under par 71. Again the problems were on the greens, his 33 putts in the second round adding five to his first round total. Montgomerie shared little of his troubles, but a short lunch and a trip to the putting green armed with seven different putters outlined his intentions to correct the problem sooner rather than later.
Second placed Gary Evans rarely has reason to complain about his performance on the greens. One of the Tour’s most consistent putters and a regular contender at the top of the AXA Performance Data putting tables, Evans has been working hard on other aspects of his game of late. A trip to the Callaway test centre in Carlsbad, California for five days of ball striking, appeared to have put the life back into his long game. After varying performances in the European Tour’s early season foreign adventures, Evans had found it difficult to find his rhythm, but felt his hard work was beginning to pay-off. He was also quizzed about the new Callaway ERC driver which has caused quite a stir since its release. Whilst he is not yet wielding the driver on course, he is hoping that a few more practice sessions could add a few more yards to his drives.
Joining Mongomerie on six under after two 69’s, New Zealand’s Stephen Scahill will be hoping to carry his consistency into the weekend. A good performance this week would help Stephen to secure his 2001 playing rights somewhat sooner than he managed last year. It took victory in the Challenge Tour’s First Cuba Grand Final courtesy of birdies on the final two holes to secure his return to the main Tour this year.
First round leader Dean Robertson faltered to a 76 on day two, but fellow countryman Andrew Coltart moved into contention with a 69 and a five under par total. He was joined in fifth spot by England’s Brian Davis, helped by an eagle three at the par 5 seventh en route to a 68.
So entering the third round, Spaniard Juan Quiros leads after missing just one fairway in his opening two rounds. As for Spain’s other favourite sons, Garcia and Olazabal made the cut at one under and one over respectively whilst Ballesteros, despite his recent success at Sunningdale, missed the cut at six over par. Seve’s two round driving accuracy sat at just 25%. What he would give for some of the accuracy that Quiros has shown on the first two days, but then what Montgomerie may give for a touch of Seve’s edge on the greens.