Saturday, 11 October 2008

Jose just scrapes through; Madrid lead held by Marcus and Charl. Which posh name will prevail...

At a time when one Spanish legend is currently ill in hospital, another is making a welcome comeback from his own health problems. Jose Maria Olazabal, who has not played in a tournament since June when he was attempting to qualify for the Open, just managed to make the cut at the Madrid Open with a 70 and a 72 to get into the weekend by one shot on level par. It's the third comeback Olazabal has had to make, plagued by arthritis throughout his career. He'll be hoping this one will be as successful as the last, when many thought he'd never play again he came back to win a second US Masters title and play in more Ryder Cups.

The news on Ballesteros, the other half of an awesome Ryder Cup pairing with Olazabal, is not so good today, as it has been revealed that he was admitted to hospital following an epileptic fit but he did move out of Intensive care last night. The hospital says he is in a stable condition. Hopefully he shares the the same powers of recovery as his good friend Jose.

The halfway lead is shared by two players who have been blowing very hot and then rather cold these past few weeks Charl Schwartzel and Marcus Fraser. They've bothe been shooting some very low rounds to be in contention in recent tournaments, though neither has kept their challenge going over a whole weekend.

The South African Charl Schwartzel again showed just how dangerous a player he could become, hitting five birdies and holing an excellent long putt for Eagle to record a seven under 64 yesterday. He appears to be capable of incredibly low scoring and if he's there or there abouts on a Sunday it won't be long before he gets his low round to nick a few big tournaments. Definitely one to be looking out for.

He was considering dropping out of the tournament but his some timely advice from his dad ensured he was there to take advantage of the injured golfers luck and hit his 64.

"I was going to withdraw but I spoke to my dad and he told me to tee off and see how I feel. I've had a sore shoulder the last couple of days and I've been sick for a while. I'm taking antibiotics and I don't feel that strong. I really didn't feel good this morning but I got a couple of birdies early on and felt a bit better. Then the sun came out and my shoulder warmed up and improved a lot."

So there it is, the perfect cure for a sore shoulder - Sun and shooting birdies.

Marcus Fraser too has had a few early leads in recent weeks, again he's started hot, with a 67 and 66 to lie nine under alongside Schwartzel with a two shot lead over the rest. He birdied three of his first four yesterday but couldn't keep that outrageous run going to streak out on his own.

Will either of this pair be able to find the consistency that they have lacked to snatch the victory this week?

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