Warren on the move in Valderrama
Round two report
Scotland’s Marc Warren edged closer to the lead before the fourth weather delay of the week brought the second round of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation to a halt.
Englishman Ashley Chesters remains the man to catch at Real Club Valderrama on five under par, but he and Gregory Bourdy of France, who is one shot further back alongside Warren, have yet to get their second round under way.
After four hours were lost to stormy conditions on Thursday, three-time European Tour winner Warren – who came into the week in 144th place in the Race to Dubai and battling to keep his playing privileges – returned to complete his opening round on Friday morning, signing for a round of 69.
It was not long before he was back out on course to begin his second round and he started brilliantly, reeling off birdies at the tenth, 16th and 17th to join Chesters on five under par before a bogey at the 18th dropped him into a tie for second alongside Bourdy.
Home favourite Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño is at three under par after seven holes of his second round but he has an eagle putt to come at the long 17th when play resumes on Saturday morning.
He is joined by fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros and Welshman Oliver Farr, who are in the early stages of their second rounds, as well as defending champion Sergio Garcia and Australian Jason Scrivener, who are due to get their second rounds under way on Saturday.
Marc Warren: “I’m hitting the ball as well as I have in a long time. I gave myself a lot of chances and I’m doing what you’ve got to do around here, which is hitting fairways and greens. I managed to stay patient and got the rewards with being two under for the round this afternoon.
“There was no warming up, you just hit a few a balls and you’re ready to go. I hit two good shots into ten, which was my first hole this afternoon. Holed a nice putt there and I was just short of the green in two on 11, the par five. I didn’t get up and down there, which was frustrating.
“I had a good chance on 13 from about ten feet and missed that, a good chance on 14 from about the same and missed that too. Then I holed a good 12-footer on 16 and another good putt just off the back edge on 17, so I felt like I got it back there.
“Hitting fairways and greens is the most important thing around here, so hopefully I wake up tomorrow with the same swing and swing thoughts as I had today.”
Álvaro Quirós: “I can’t complain about my score. Unfortunately, the weather is making things difficult for us, but we have to compete with what we have and it’s the same for everybody. My game comes and goes. It has been even more inconsistent in the afternoon, but I got a couple of lucky kicks and I scrambled nicely.
“My mindset is pretty good, but sometimes it’s difficult to face certain shots if you are not 100% confident in your swing. That’s one of the tough things about Valderrama, because you find yourself quite often in impossible places after a decent shot and then you start losing confidence.
“The course is in spectacular shape considering the amount of water. Playing in these conditions is hard on the course as we don’t allow the water to absorb and we tread on wet greens, but they are holding beautifully, so we have no excuse.”