Date: April 28, 2007

Little holds edge

Stuart Little holds a one-stroke lead following the second day of a rain affected Spanish Open in Madrid, while Australian Marcus Fraser is three shots off the pace. Three days after sitting at home thinking there was no tournament for him this week, England&aposs Little has found himself leading the tournament. The 39-year-old left-hander flew out on Tuesday after being told he was suddenly up from fourth to first reserve – and a place then fell open for him when Londoner Anthony Wall withdrew just before the start. Little has certainly made the most of his big chance so far. Because of the bad weather he did not hit a shot on Thursday, but in 36 holes on Friday he charged to eight under par. That effort was good enough for a one-stroke overnight lead from compatriots Nick Dougherty and Mark Foster while South African Charl Schwartzel is also still in with a chance. After another 100-minute rain delay – almost eight hours were lost on the opening day – most of the 155-strong field had still to reach halfway. Little, without a victory since he made his European Tour debut 15 years ago, lost his card again last season by falling from 65th to 150th on the Order. He then made his 11th trip to the qualifying school, but only the top 35 there win places on the circuit and he finished a lowly 130th. “I developed a few problems technically and trying to compete with a B-game is pretty much impossible. My game was not good enough and I couldn&apost find a solution quick enough. Fraser, meanwhile, has a superb chance to make up some ground on the leaders as he is currently just three strokes off the lead at five under with a further two holes to play in his second round. Terry Price (70) is also just one shot behind Fraser, although he has played a full second round, while Terry Pilkadaris (69 in round one) did not even tee off on the second day. Day two of the Open de Espana, Madrid -8: Stuart Little 67 69 -7: Nick Dougherty 68 69, Charl Schwartzel 69 68 -6: Simon Dyson 69 69, Andrew Raitt 68 70 -5: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 69 -2*, Richard Bland 68 -1*, Gregory Bourdy 67 E* -4: Niclas Fasth 68 72, Graeme McDowell 71 69, Terry Price (Australia) 70 70, Fredrik Andersson Hed 68 E*, Notah Begay 68 E*, Luis Claverie 68 E*, Graeme Storm 68 E* Also: -3: Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 69 E* E: Wade Ormsby (Australia) 70 +2*, Steve Alker (New Zealand) 72 E* +2: Andrew Tampion (Australia) 74 E* +4: Matthew Zions (Australia) 76 E*, David Bransdon (Australia) 74 +4* *yet to tee off in second round or still out on course when play was delayed