Langasque finds his game as Rahm loses his at Valderrama

Jonathan Caldwell, the lone Irishman in the field, survives into the weekend on cut line

Jon Rahm during the second round of the Andalucia Masters in Cadiz, Spain. Photograph: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Jon Rahm during the second round of the Andalucia Masters in Cadiz, Spain. Photograph: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

 

What is it about Valderrama that can stir the senses? Take Romain Langasque. The Frenchman had missed five of his last six cuts on tour prior to reaching the iconic venue in the south of Spain for the Andalucia Masters and hadn’t managed a top-10 finish anywhere since the Kenya Open back in March.

Yet, on the iconic tree-lined course, traditionally regarded as one of the toughest on tour, Langasque has rediscovered his game; and nowhere more spectacularly than on the Par 5 17th where he holed a long putt for an eagle which turned a decent round into a good one, as a second successive 69 for 138, six-under-par, gave him the solo midway lead.

“A bonus,” is how Langasque – currently ranked 282nd in the world and whose last win came in the 2020 Wales Open – described that eagle putt which effectively moved him into a one-stroke lead over a chasing quartet of Ryan Fox, Laurie Canter, Sebastian Soderberg and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Strategy

Fitzpatrick endured a miserable Ryder Cup last month but, like Langasque, rediscovered much of his old verve in negotiating a route through the cork trees that not only line the fairways and interject onto the fairways in places to make strategy rather than raw power an important part of the game on the Robert Trent Jones Snr design.

Indeed, the woes of world number one Jon Rahm – who missed a rare cut (for only the third time this year) after rounds of 78-74 for tied-99th – demonstrated how Valderrama has the capacity to test the patience of even the very best.

Fitzpatrick, for his part, played the game of patience extremely well. Even when seemingly out of position, he plotted a way and his short game, including holing out from a bunker for birdie on the seventh, was exemplary until finally he too became a victim with a finishing double-bogey six on the 18th.

“I played great, there’s no other way to describe it. I was really solid. I barely missed a green and a fairway. I putted pretty solid too,” said Fitzpatrick, adding: “It’s a tough way to finish, but I feel like I’m playing well; I just have to keep it up. It’s all about patience. It’s not trying to be too greedy.”

Jonathan Caldwell, the lone Irishman in the field, put together rounds of 72-75 for 147 to survive into the weekend on the cut line.

CJ Cup

In the CJ Cup on the PGA Tour, American Keith Mitchell followed up his opening round 62 with a 64 to assume the clubhouse lead at The Summit in Las Vegas with a 36-holes total of 18-under-par 126, five strokes clear of South Korean Seonghyeon Kim.

Rickie Fowler, after a dreadful season, finally showed signs of his old self with a second successive 66 to be one shot further back and among those in pursuit heading into the weekend.

“I’m definitely excited and pleased. I spent a lot of time in the last few days leading up to this tournament working hard on my game and it’s showing. I’m very thankful for that, it just shows you that hard work pays off as long as you’re doing the right things. My putter’s definitely been nice and my speed has been a lot better this week. If those two things stay through this weekend, hopefully I can keep hitting in some quality shots and capitalising,” said Mitchell, seeking to add a second career PGA Tour win to his 2019 Honda Classic success.

“I’ve missed the last two cuts and I’ve stood out on the range until dark and then putted until dark on Wednesday because I was not happy with my results,” added Mitchell, who numbered an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey in his second round to take a grip on the tournament.

Both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were among the later starters in the field which is limited to 78 players and doesn’t have a cut. McIlroy was one-under through five holes of his second round (moving to five-under for the tournament) and Lowry one-over through the turn (two-over for the tournament).

Collated second round scores and totals in the Andalucia Masters (British unless stared, Irish in bold, Par 71)

138 Romain Langasque (Fra) 69 69

139 Laurie Canter 74 65, Matthew Fitzpatrick 71 68, Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 70 69, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 69

140 Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 71 69, Scott Jamieson 72 68, Robert Rock 72 68, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 67 73

141 Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 70, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 73 68, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 71 70

142 Rafael Cabrera (Spa) 68 74, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 70 72, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 73

143 Aaron Rai 72 71, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 73 70, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 71 72, Alexander Bjoerk (Swe) 72 71, Daniel Gavins 71 72, Sebastian Garcia (Spa) 72 71, Andrew Johnston 70 73, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 72 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 72 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 73 70

144 Min-Woo Lee (Aus) 73 71, Thorbjoern Olesen (Den) 72 72, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 73 71, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 72 72, Joost Luiten (Ned) 73 71, Wil Besseling (Ned) 70 74, Jeff Winther (Den) 74 70, Ashley Chesters 72 72

145 Paul Waring 71 74, Grant Forrest 74 71, Callum Shinkwin 74 71, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 73 72, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 74 71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 77 68, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 74 71, Jordan Smith 73 72, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 73 72, David Horsey 73 72, James Morrison 72 73

146 David Lipsky (USA) 71 75, Alexander Levy (Fra) 75 71, Ignacio Elvira (Spa) 72 74, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 73 73, Matthew Southgate 71 75, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 73 73, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 75 71, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 76, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 74 72, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 74 72

147 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 74 73, Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 75 72, Justin Harding (Rsa) 74 73, Jonathan Caldwell (Irl) 72 75, John Catlin (USA) 73 74, Robert MacIntyre 73 74, George Coetzee (Rsa) 76 71, Santiago Tarrio (Spa) 74 73, Gavin Green (Mal) 74 73, David Drysdale 76 71, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 74 73, Peter Hanson (Swe) 75 72, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 71 76

148 Connor Syme 74 74, Eddie Pepperell 78 70, Richard McEvoy 76 72, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 76 72, David Law 75 73, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 75 73, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 74 74, Richie Ramsay 73 75, Julian Suri (USA) 72 76, Oliver Fisher 76 72, Jamie Donaldson 78 70

149 Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den) 73 76, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 75 74, Victor Perez (Fra) 78 71, Stephen Gallacher 76 73, Haotong Li (Chn) 72 77, Eduardo de la Riva (Spa) 74 75, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 72 77, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 77 72, Oliver Wilson 73 76, Marc Warren 75 74

150 Chris Wood 76 74, Richard Bland 75 75, Ashun Wu (Chn) 75 75, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 75 75, Jack Senior 76 74, Thomas Detry (Bel) 72 78, David Howell 71 79

151 Ross Fisher 78 73, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 82 69, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 77 74

152 Jon Rahm (Spa) 78 74, Steven Brown 78 74, Scott Hend (Aus) 78 74, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 75 77

153 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 78 75, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 76 77, Marcus Armitage 75 78, Ross McGowan 78 75, Graeme Storm 73 80, Javier Ballesteros (Spa) 79 74, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 77 76, Justin Walters (Rsa) 79 74

154 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 79 75, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 75 79, Sean Crocker (USA) 74 80, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 77 77

155 Daniel van Tonder (Rsa) 77 78, Marcel Siem (Ger) 77 78, Laird Shepherd 76 79, Chris Paisley 82 73

156 Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 81 75, Pep Angles (Spa) 76 80

157 Adria Arnaus (Spa) 77 80, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 78 79

158 Joel Stalter (Fra) 83 75

163 Michael Campbell (Nzl) 80 83

165 Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 82 83

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