MARBELLA, Spain (AP) – Eduardo De La Riva, a Spaniard ranked 610th in the world, shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds in the Andalucia Open.
De La Riva, who has made nine unsuccessful trips to European Tour qualifying school, was at 8-under 136 on the Aloha course. He qualified for the event though the Spanish regional money list.
“I am very pleased with my birdie on 18, which is a challenging hole,'' La Riva said. “I took a 5-wood and 4-iron over the water. I played well off the tee, but the key today were my shots to the green from 100 to 150 yards.''
Tournament host Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 68 to join Spain's Pablo Larrazabal (69), Italy's Matteo Manassero (73), Ireland's Damien McGrane and England's Tommy Fleetwood (69) at 7 under. Jimenez, a two-time Andalucia Open winner, is using the tournament as a final warmup before the Masters.
“I am only one shot behind the leader and it will be nice to be there in front on Sunday,'' Jimenez said. “I have played a lot of golf recently, competing in the two WGC events in America, so this will be my last event before Augusta. But this week has been very tough and very busy for me helping organize the event and while I have a lot of good people around me it always takes me forever to go from point A to B.''
Manassero, three strokes ahead after match the course record with a first-round 64, played the first 12 holes in 3 over. He birdied Nos. 15 and 18.
The 18-year-old Manassero played alongside Jimenez.
“I talked a lot with Miguel about age difference, as he is 30 years older than me,'' Manassero said. “But I love playing with him because I learn a lot from his experience. He joined the tour when he was 24, and he has played in the majors and Ryder Cups, so ho
Canadian Mike Weir was 3 under after a 73.