Little Kirk on Top in Canary Islands


European TourTENERIFE, Canary Islands -- Stuart Little posted a 4-under 67 on Friday to join Michael Kirk atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Abama Open de Canarias. Kirk shot a 66 and the two are knotted at 7-under- par 135 at Abama Golf Club.
Titch Moore carded a 3-under 68 and is tied for third place with Stephen Scahill, who shot a 5-under 66 on Friday. The pair finished 36 holes at minus-6.
Peter Baker, John Bickerton and Mark Roe all posted rounds of 2-under-par 69 and share fifth place at 5-under-par 137.
Little did not do much on his front nine as he tallied only one birdie. On the back nine, he birdied the par-5 10th, but dropped a shot at 13, a hole he birdied on Thursday.
The Englishman surged up the leaderboard with his play at the end of the back nine. He birdied three holes in a row from the 15th and parred No. 18 to grab his share of the lead.
Little has bounced back and forth from the European Tour and Challenge Tour, but this year, the lefthander is in good shape to stay on the big circuit. He has three top-10s in 2005 and rests comfortably in 74th on the European Tour Order of Merit.
'Golfers can improve at different ages and this is obviously my age,' said Little. 'But if someone had told me in August 1999 I'd be playing European Tour golf again I'd have laughed at them.'
Kirk, who began on the back nine Friday, was 4 under par through 13 holes, but dropped a shot at the sixth, a hole he birdied in the first round. Kirk, who turned 29 on Wednesday, birdied back-to-back holes from the seventh to join Little in first.
Kirk has played the Challenge Tour this season and the top-20 on that money list at the end of the year get a promotion to the European Tour. Since this event is dual-sanctioned between the tours, Kirk can move up from his 22nd spot.
First-round co-leader Andres Romero managed a 1-over 72 on Friday and fell into a tie for eighth place with Garry Houston (65) and Jamie Spence (69). The trio is knotted at 4-under-par 138.
Johan Skold was the other leader following Thursday's first round, but he struggled worse than Romero. He posted a 5-over-par 76 and is part of a group tied for 28th place at even-par 142.
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-over-par 145 and 71 players made it to the weekend
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Abama Open de Canarias
  • Full Coverage - Abama Open de Canarias