Garcia Grabs Lead in Spain


Sergio Garcia sputtered at the start, but found his flow and drove straight to the top of the leaderboard in the Canarias Open de Espana.
The 22-year-old Spaniard parred the par-5 10th, his first hole of the day, and then hit his tee ball out of bounds on the 329-yard, par-4 12th and made bogey. But rather than unraveling, Garcia collected five birdies over his final 15 holes for a 4-under 68.
The tournament favorite moved from one back as the day began to one up entering the weekend at the El Cortijo Club de Campo.
Garcia stands at 9-under-par 135. Englands Greg Owen shot 69 to move to 8-under, while long-hitting Emanuele Canonica is a shot further removed from the lead after also shooting 69.
Garcia has won three times on the European Tour, to go along with three PGA Tour victories. However, he has never triumphed on Spanish soil since he turned professional at this event in 1999.
Obviously that would be great because I am in my home country but there are still two days to go and weve got to take things one step at a time, Garcia said. It would also be good because over the last couple of months I have felt I should have won at least one tournament but didnt. To win here would be a real boost to my confidence.
Many of the fans in Gran Canaria would love to see Garcia hoist the trophy come Sunday. Owen, of course, is not among the popular opinion.
Lets wait and see, but I am playing really well and he is going to have to beat me - Im not going to go away, he said. Ive been learning, its taken a while, but it is about time I started showing where I think I belong.
Overnight leaders David Gilford and Soren Hansen finished the second round closer to the cutline than to the top.
Gilford carded a 77 to slip to 1-under, while Hansen posted a 78 and is now at even par. The cutline fell at 2-over 146. Retief Goosen barely survived to the weekend. He posted his second straight 73 to make it on the number.
Full-field scores from the Canarias Open de Espana