x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Westwood remains in the hunt

Lee Westwood kept his Order of Merit hopes alive by moving to within two strokes of Volvo Masters second round leader Soren Kjeldsen.

SOTOGRANDE // Lee Westwood kept his Order of Merit hopes alive by moving to within two strokes of Volvo Masters second round leader Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark yesterday, producing a sublime chip on the way. Westwood, 35, who had to play the whole of his round yesterday following Friday's washout, recovered from a poor start to shoot a three-under 68 that gave him a four-under 138 halfway total and a share of second place.

The Englishman, Europe's No 1 in 2000, has to win the ?708,000 (Dh3.3m) first prize for a chance of lifting his second Vardon Trophy but found his first seven holes a struggle as he dropped three shots. However, he then turned things around with four birdies in five holes from the eighth, and two more to finish his round. The highlight of the morning for Westwood was his chip from a bank alongside the water hazard on the long 17th, with one foot raised above the other, to 15 feet. He then sank the putt to keep his momentum.

"I hit a terrible three-wood to miss the green but then had the third of three great chips," Westwood said. Order of Merit leader Robert Karlsson hit a second successive 73 to be four-over, and he was not happy with the conditions. "The course is ridiculous in these conditions and makes us look fools but it's playable and you just have to get on with it," the Swede said. The Irishman Padraig Harrington, ?297,425 behind Karlsson on the money-list, is on five-over after a 71.

Leader Kjeldsen also carded a 71 to leave himself two shots aead of Westwood, Briton Anthony Wall and Spain's Sergio Garcia in the standings ahead of the third round, which began last night. * Reuters