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Friday, 19 March 2010

Argentina’s Daniel Vancsik moved into a two shot lead at the halfway stage of the inaugural Portugal Masters and gave himself the ideal opportunity to put the disappointment of last week behind him immediately.

The 30 year old was in an excellent position in Open de Madrid Valle Romano to add a second European Tour title to the Madeira Islands Open BPI title he won in March before disaster struck at the fifth hole of the final round where he ran up a quintuple bogey nine.

Considering he lost the title to Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup by four shots, the enormity of the blunder is easy to see but Vancsik admitted, although obviously disappointed, he had worked hard to put all what happened behind him.

“It was difficult but I talked a lot with my sports psychologist before coming here and he told me to relax and just to try and forget about what happened and look forward rather than backwards,” he said.

“I can’t do anything about last week but I can do something about this week. I can win this week so I am now just trying to go out and forget what happened and play my game.”

Certainly if Vancsik continues in a similar vein over the weekend to his first two rounds he will soon forget events in Madrid as the Argentine was in imperious form, adding a second round 66 to his opening 64 for a 14 under par total of 130 and a two shot lead over the field.

Sharing second place was Sweden’s Martin Erlandsson, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros and the English duo of Ross Fisher and Steve Webster who all finished on 12 under par 132.

Pick of the bunch was Fisher who posted the day’s best round – an eight under par 64 – a round which featured perhaps the shot of the day, an eagle two at the 456 yard seventh where he followed up a fine drive with a nine iron second shot which found its way to the bottom of the cup.

“I said to my caddie that I thought we had 136 to the front edge of the green and perhaps 145 just over the pin so I tried to cut a little nine iron in there and try to persuade the ball to find the hole and I managed to do just that – it was brilliant,” said the winner of this year’s KLM Open in August.

Another delighted man, but simply for the reason he was playing golf in the first place was Alvaro Quiros who, in only his second tournament back after being out of golf for six months following surgery to ligaments in his left wrist, carded his second consecutive 66.

Quiros made his return to competitive golf in Madrid last week, after injuring his wrist in the Valle Romano Open de Andalucia in May, but missed the cut, but showed this week that the form which won him the Alfred Dunhill Championship last December was starting to return.

“The hardest part is to work on my concentration levels because that is what is affected when you are out of the game for five and half, six months,” he said. “The other thing is that I’m never sure how I’m going to play because in a moment things can change, but at the moment, it’s pretty good.”

Alongside the duo, Webster showed a return to the form which saw him notch three top ten finishes in a row at the end of July and the beginning of August to match Quiros’ 66, while Erlandsson enjoyed a flawless day, adding a 68 to his opening 64.

The low scoring in the ideal warm and generally windless conditions on the Algarve was reflected in the fact that the cut fell at three under par 141, meaning 73 players will contest the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WEBSTER, SteveENG18-25
2KARLSSON, RobertSWE18-23
T3HANSON, PeterSWE18-19
T3ANDERSSON HED, FredrikSWE18-19
T3VANCSIK, DanielARG18-19
T3WESTWOOD, LeeENG18-19
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