Luiten leads, Garcia lurks in Spain

European Tour

Joost Luiten snatched the second-round lead at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Friday, but home favourite Sergio Garcia remains hot on his heels.

The Dutchman held a share of the overnight lead Real Club Valderrama with Garcia but ended the day on top thanks in part to a spectacular albatross on the 11th.

That helped him to a one-under-par 70 and a six-under-par total, which was one shot clear of Garcia, Robert Rock and Scott Jamieson.

Garcia mixed three birdies and three bogeys in his level-par 71 to stay within touching distance of the leader.

“I’m happy with the way I played,” he said. “I finished second, I like this place. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and we can win here but there’s a lot of golf to be played and we just need to focus on tomorrow and have another good round.

“I think it will play a bit shorter off the tee, it will be a bit harder maybe to hit the fairways if they’re going to run off but it’s still fairly soft, you can still be aggressive into the pins but you’ve got to hit the fairways and that’s the game-plan for the weekend.

“I think ten under will be a good number.”

Aside from his albatross after holing his second shot with a four-iron from 227 yards, Luiten’s eventful round included two birdies and four bogeys.

Luiten has been highly consistent this season with just four missed cuts in 22 events but he also has just one top ten.

He can expect a stiff challenge over the weekend – not only from the reigning Masters champion – but a host of other quality players breathing down his neck.