Date: July 26, 2008

Aussies fall by the wayside

Terry Pilkadaris and Scott Barr have both missed the cut at the Inteco Russian Open in Moscow as former Ryder Cup player Jarmo Sandelin and Mikael Lundberg continued Sweden&aposs recent success at the tournament by claiming the halfway lead. Kiwis Gareth Paddison (five-under) and Steve Alker (four-under) are still alive but trail the leaders by eight and nine strokes respectively. Sandelin and Lundberg carded second rounds of 64 to finish 13-under-par, one shot ahead of England&aposs Robert Rock, who also returned a 64. Norway&aposs Jan-Are Larsen is a shot further back on 11-under after a 65 but former Open champion John Daly missed the cut too after rounds of 70 and 73. Lundberg won his only tour title to date in the Russian capital in 2005, while fellow Swede Per-Ulrik Johansson triumphed 12 months ago. “Maybe it&aposs because we are only two hours away,” explained Sandelin. “In fact, I was born in Finland and that&aposs even closer, 10 kilometres from the Russian border. Maybe that&aposs the inspiration.” Sandelin won the fifth of his European Tour titles in 2002, three years after representing Europe in the Ryder Cup at Brookline, but since then has struggled to reproduce that form and only held onto his tour card at the end of last season by 61 pounds ($AU 127). Starting his second round from the 10th, Sandelin picked up shots at the 11th and 12th and then rolled in a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th to reach the turn in 31. For the second day in succession he bogeyed the first but bounced back with a birdie on the next after chipping within inches of the hole. Sandelin also birdied the sixth and then hit the pin with his approach to the 7th. The ball unfortunately bounced 20 feet away but the 41-year-old holed for birdie and then hit his tee shot at the 8th to within inches of the hole to make it three in a row. Rock had also started from the 10th and matched Sandelin&aposs outward half of 31. The 31-year-old Midlander then birdied the second and bogeyed the fourth before holing from 30 feet for eagle on the par-five 5th and picking up another birdie on the 8th. “This season has been a lot better for me and I really don&apost think that my positions on the Order of Merit or the Challenge Tour rankings really reflect that at the moment,” said Rock, 132nd and 55th on those lists, respectively. “My stroke average is a lot better than last year and I tend to go on stats like that. If I am getting better every year then that will do me.” “It&aposs been a long process of building my swing to where I wanted it to be. It was good all of last year but very new to me, whereas now I have been having the same swing thoughts for the last year, which is great because I used to have four or five different ones every week.” England&aposs Danny Willett, the former top-ranked amateur in the world, is four off the lead after a double-bogey six at the 18th in his round of 66. Defending champion Johansson is six off the lead after adding a 68 to his opening 69 to lie seven-under-par. Second Round of the Russian Open (Par 72): -13: Mikael Lundberg 67 64, Jarmo Sandelin 67 64 -12: Robert Rock 68 64 -11: Jan-Are Larsen 68 65 -10: Francois Delamontagne 67 67, Ignacio Sanchez-Palencia 68 66 -9: Luis Clavere 67 68, Jose Manuel Lara 67 68, Carl Suneson 67 68, Danny Willett 69 66 -8: Michiel Bothma 68 68, Andrew Marshall 67 69, Jamie Moul 68 68 -7: Fredrk Andersson Hed 68 69, Benn Barham 69 68, Robert Dinwiddie 70 67, Darren Fichardt 66 71, Per-Ulrik Johansson 69 68, Soren Juul 69 68, Shiv Kapur 67 70, Jean-Francois Lucquin 73 64, Ben Mason 68 69, Lee Slattery 70 67 Also: -5: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 68 71 -4: Steve Alker (New Zealand) 73 67 -1: Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 70 73 +4: Scott Barr (Australia) 70 78