Friday, 19 March 2010

Days before the Open de España teed off, England's Stuart Little was sitting at home contemplating a week off. Now, having completed two rounds at the rain-delayed event at the Centro Nacional de Golf, Little is leading the tournament.

The 39 year old was fourth reserve on Tuesday morning, but a spate of withdrawals saw him move to first on the reserve list, and prompted Little to book a flight for the Spanish Capital on Tuesday afternoon.

On Thursday, Little’s fellow countryman Anthony Wall became the fourth withdrawal of the week, handing Little an opportunity that he has grasped with both hands.

Despite continuous rain and lightning delays over the first two days, Little posted a two round clubhouse of lead of eight under par 136, having played 36 holes on Friday.

He leads compatriots Nick Dougherty and Mark Foster, as well as South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, by a single stroke, with another English pair, Simon Dyson and Amdrew Raitt, two strokes off the pace.

All of the aforementioned leaders have completed rounds one and two, but more than half the field have still to finish their second rounds.

The second round will resume at 08:30 on Saturday morning, while the third round will not start before 15:00 hours.

That means another delay for Little and Co., but the leader will be the last man to complain as he seeks to win what would be a maiden European Tour victory.

"This is only my fifth tournament of the year, so to play like this so far is absolutely fantastic - of course it is," said Little.

"I developed a few problems technically and trying to compete with a B-game is pretty much impossible. My game was not good enough and I couldn't find a solution quick enough.

"It's not enjoyable when you are struggling. It was very difficult to erase the problem and I'm still not 100 per cent comfortable, but it's nice to see positives and to have the feelings of 2005 coming back.

"When I suddenly went up to first reserve on Tuesday it was an easy decision to travel. It's not as though Spain is a long-haul flight, but I hadn't booked anything so all that had to be done."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-16
2RANDHAWA, JyotiIND18-15
3RODILES, CarlosESP18-14
T4FOSTER, MarkENG18-13
T4DYSON, SimonENG18-13
T6ANDERSSON HED, FredrikSWE18-12
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