Friday, 20 October 2017
Day Two Highlights - Andalucia Valderrama Masters

Joost Luiten will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation after a sparkling round of 70 on day two at Real Club Valderrama.

The Dutchman entered Friday in a share of the lead and a stunning albatross on the 11th helped him get to six under and lead the way from local hero Sergio Garcia, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Englishman Robert Rock.

Luiten has been a picture of consistency this season with just four missed cuts in 22 events but he also has just one top ten.

He finished second over this layout at last season's Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation and will be full of confidence as he goes in search of European Tour title number six.

"I'm happy with the way I played," he said. "I finished second, I like this place. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and we can win here but there's a lot of golf to be played and we just need to focus on tomorrow and have another good round.

"I think it will play a bit shorter off the tee, it will be a bit harder maybe to hit the fairways if they're going to run off but it's still fairly soft, you can still be aggressive into the pins but you've got to hit the fairways and that's the game-plan for the weekend.

"I think ten under will be a good number."

Ben Evans was at four under as he battles to keep his playing privileges for next season.

Garcia, Luiten and Rock were tied for the lead at five under around the turn but Luiten found the water on the tenth and Garcia holed an eight-footer on the ninth to take the lead on his own.

That would not last for long as Luiten holed his second with a four iron from 227 yards on the 11th for the second albatross of his European Tour career and he followed that with a bogey on the par three 12th.

Garcia bogeyed the same hole to make it a three-shot lead and when Rock dropped shots on the fourth and fifth, Luiten looked in control.

Rock bounced back with birdies on the sixth and eighth and when Luiten missed the green on the par three 15th, the lead was down to one.

Another bogey was to come for Luiten as he got a nasty lie in a bunker on the 17th but he was soon back in front as Rock dropped a shot on the ninth.

A three-putt from Garcia on the 16th had dropped him back to four under but he bounced straight back as he got up to the side of the green in two on the par five next.

Jamieson bogeyed the second but birdied the fifth, seventh and eighth to turn in 33 and when he added a 12-footer on the 16th to a gain on the 12th he shared the lead at six under before going out of bounds and bogeying the 17th.

Evans is no stranger to the fight to keep your card, claiming the last available spot in 2015 despite not entering that season with a full exemption. He lost his card last term but has once again battled despite a limited schedule and needs a top 35 finish here to have a chance of getting it back.

The Englishman bogeyed the second but birdied the sixth to turn in 35 before recovering from a dropped shot on the tenth with gains on the 11th, 12th and 17th.

Oliver Wilson needs a win this week and he was at three under after a 70, a score matched by Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia.

Wilson's chances looked to be gone as he bogeyed the first, eighth and tenth but he came roaring back with birdies on the 11th, 13th, 14th and last.

The made cut could be enough for Gouveia to keep his card via the Access List and he also overcame a slow start, cancelling out bogeys on the second, fourth and eighth with birdies on the 12th, 16th, 17th and 18th.

American Paul Peterson needs a top-five this week to have a chance of keeping his card and he fired a 72 to sit at two under alongside Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Dane Anders Hansen, England's Andrew Johnston, local favourite Pablo Larrazábal and Italian Edoardo Molinari.

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