on November 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Jimenez hopes washed away at sodden Volvo Masters

SOTOGRANDE, Spain (Reuters) – Torrential rain caused the Volvo Masters second round to be abandoned Friday, washing away Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez’s slim European order of merit hopes.

Play was called off at 1400 GMT with the Valderrama course waterlogged.

Overnight leader Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark, who did not start his round, leads by three strokes on six-under-par from Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

Order of merit contenders Robert Karlsson, the money-list leader by 297,425 euro ($380,000), Padraig Harrington and Jimenez all had to battle with the bad weather before play was suspended at 1110 GMT and then called off for the day.

Karlsson is three-over after four holes, Harrington, second in the money-list, is five-over after 13 and Jimenez, fourth in the merit standings, nine-over after a disastrous four holes.

An annoyed Jimenez, who dropped seven strokes Friday, said he should not have started his round.

“I think the decision to suspend play should have been taken before it was,” Jimenez, 676,652 euro ($864,500) behind Karlsson and needing a win at Valderrama to have any chance of securing his first Vardon Trophy, told reporters.

“I understand why play started because it was not that bad at first, but it got worse and worse, especially the shots around the green, because the ball picked up so much mud.

“We kept on playing and it got worse and worse, it was brutal. This is unfair because who knows what the conditions are going to be like tomorrow, they could be perfect.”

Like all the players who battled the conditions, Jimenez is scheduled to restart his round at 0830 Saturday as the tour attempts to keep the tournament over 72 holes.

Briton Lee Westwood, fifth overnight, was unable to begin his round. Westwood, third in the merit list, is five shots off the lead.

Europe’s 2007 order of merit winner Justin Rose ended the defense of his Volvo Masters title when the Englishman withdrew after the death of his grandfather. Rose had shot a second round 81.

(editing by Justin Palmer)