Date: March 29, 2008

Fantastic finish puts Millar on top

Matthew Millar has nailed a 30-metre chip on the final hole of his second round to snatch a share of the lead at the midway point of the Andalucian Open in Spain. The Australian drew level with Swede Peter Hedblom courtesy of his classy finish from off the green to close out a round of three-under-par 69. Hedblom provided his fair share of spectacular shot making – he chipped in twice and rolled in a 12-metre birdie putt – to fire a round of 67. Both men are eight-under the card for the tournament, one stroke clear of English pair Richard Dinwiddie and David Lynn and Frenchman Thomas Levet. Millar, who had to go back to the qualifying school to regain his Tour card last November, is in unfamiliar territory with 36 holes remaining. “I&aposve never led at halfway before, but I felt I was going to play good,” he said. “I don&apost have the most orthodox swing – my backswing&aposs all over the place and pretty similar to Jim Furyk – but the changes I&aposm trying to make have been coming together.” Defending champion Lee Westwood dropped to joint sixth on six-under-par, but had his reasons for a poor day. “The greens are a bit trickier in the afternoon – they get a bit iffy,” Westwood said. “I probably deserved better than 73, but you have days like that.” Local hero Jose Maria Olazabal is down on one-under-par, but delighted to have survived the halfway cut in his first event since last August&aposs US PGA Championship. The 42-year-old, likely now to travel to America for next week&aposs Houston Open and then the Masters, is still battling rheumatic pains in his lower back and had no great expectations. Second Round of the Andalucia Open (Par 72): -8: Peter Hedblom 69 67, Matthew Millar (Australia) 67 69 -7: Robert Dinwiddie 72 65, Thomas Levet 69 68, David Lynn 70 67 -6: Bradley Dredge 70 68, Pelle Edberg 70 68, Oliver Fish 70 68, Michael Jonzon 69 69, Maarten Lafeber 68 70, Jan-Are Larsen 66 72, Lee Westwood 65 73 -5: Christian Cevaer 68 71, Simon Dyson 71 68, Joost Luiten 74 65, Alexander Noren 69 70, Marcel Siem 70 69, Patrik Sjoland 70 69, Carl Suneson 69 70 Also: E: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 71 73