Luiten soars into a three-way lead on first albatross

Reuters, DURBAN, South Africa

Sun, Jan 12, 2014 - Page 19

Dutchman Joost Luiten hit the first albatross of the European Tour season to take a share of a three-way lead after the second round of the Volvo Golf Champions tournament on Friday.

Luiten holed his second shot on the par-five 512m 10th hole at the Durban Country Club on his way to a five-under 67, and seven-under overall, along with Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Louis Oosthuizen.

The 227m iron shot was hit downwind, pitched on the front of the green and rolled dramatically into the hole.

“It was my first albatross. I hit a four iron and basically went straight at it, and it just pitched exactly where I wanted,” Luiten told reporters.

Only one albatross was hit on the European Tour last season, by Chris Doak of Scotland at the Madeira Open.

Luiten’s five-under-par total was matched by Englishman Fleetwood, who hit six birdies in his round on a second day of blustery conditions at the rolling, coastal course.

South African Oosthuizen three times saved par in the closing holes with delicate chips out of the bunkers, but missed a short putt on the last hole for the outright lead.

A birdie at the last put Frenchman Victor Dubuisson one shot behind the leaders after a second 69, while Italian Matteo Manassero, with a second-round 67, was fifth on five-under-par.

Overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin was one-over-par for the second round with two bogeys and one double bogey.

He is three behind the leading trio, along with Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland.

The elite 36-man field is made up of winners on the Tour over the past 12 months, plus one former tournament champion, and five multiple tour-event winners given special exemption.



Brian Stuard grabbed a one-shot lead after firing his second consecutive five-under 65 in the second round of the PGA Tour’s Sony Open on Friday.

Stuard, who leads a Tour event for the first time in his career, finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 130.

Marc Leishman of Australia fired a six-under 64 and moved into a share of second place at nine-under at the Waialae Country Club. He was joined by Japan’s Hideto Tanihara, who posted a 65 in the second round.

Harris English, a two-time winner last year, carded his second 66 for the second straight day and is in sole possession of fourth on eight-under-par 132.

Masters champion Adam Scott posted a four-under 66 and moved into a tie for fifth at seven-under. Australia’s Scott was joined in fifth place by Chris Stroud (65), Chris Kirk (69), Jimmy Walker (67), South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon (70) and Jason Kokrak (67).

Stuard began his round with five straight pars from the 10th. He rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt on No. 15, but gave that shot back with a bogey at 17.

Stuard headed to the ninth hole, his last, at eight-under. His second shot to the par-five stopped within three feet of the hole and he drained his short eagle putt to seize the second-round lead.