Garcia tries to continue reign in Spain


SOTOGRANDE, Spain – Scotland’s Richie Ramsay shot a 1-over 72 to preserve his two-stroke lead after the second round of the Andalucia Masters on Friday, when only four players managed to complete the halfway point under par.

Ramsay reached par for the day after a birdie at No. 11 before a wayward drive led to a bogey at the 18th to drop him to a 5-under overall total of 137.

“It was a really tough day and I hung in there,” Ramsay said. “I hit so many fairways and so many greens, but couldn’t get the ball to drop. But my ball-striking was good and I’ve got to take the positives out of it.”

France’s Gregory Havret had a mixed day – recording a seven for the second consecutive day after losing his drive at the 11th – but his 71 left him in second ahead of Sergio Garcia, who carded a second consecutive 70 to sit three strokes behind in third.

Garcia, coming off his first victory for three years, needs a first victory at Valderrama to secure a spot at next week’s HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

“Back-to-back wins would be a great thing, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” Garcia said. “Valderrama can catch you any time, you can never think that you have this course under control. That’s the beauty of it. A course doesn’t need to be long to be tough.”

Miguel Angel Jimenez finished the back nine in 4-under for a 70 that left him the only Other player to go around Valderrama’s famed cork tree-lined course under par after two rounds at 1-under.

David Lynn of England was even-par after a second straight 71, while defending champion Graeme McDowell(73) and Martin Kaymer (75) were in a group at 4 over.

Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal (74) made his first cut in nine starts.