Omega ambassador Sergio Garcia takes the lead <br/> <br/>With photographer bibs out of stock and hardly a place left in the press centre by midday, it was already clear that the 2004 Omega European Masters was a success. The second round's play got off to an excellent start: after a 30-year gap, the Severiano Ballesteros course saw its second double eagle on the first hole in three days.
The fact that this is the easiest hole on the course by no means detracts from the historical significance of this feat, particularly as one of the double eagles was scored by an amateur golfer playing in a pro-am tournament. Following Swiss amateur Aurelio Landolt's (HCP 5.7) once-in-a-lifetime shot on Wednesday, Matthew Cort started his second round with a double eagle on the same hole. Whilst the amateur will remember his shot for years to come, the English pro on the other hand will be reminded of his achievement with one of Omega's Double Eagle Trophies. By pure coincidence, the watch company's ambassador Ernie Els was already scheduled to present this exclusive award to two fellow South Africans after he finished his round [see separate article].
Omega's other golf ambassador, Sergio Garcia, put in a solid second-round performance to take the lead on 11 under par, mainly thanks to a run of four consecutive birdies over his last four holes. With a total of 8 birdies over his second round and only two dropped shots, a confident Garcia admitted to hitting a lot of good shots, with his chip on three and his three wood drive on the seventh (which landed only six feet short of the pin) being the two that stood out in his mind. His playing partner K. J. Choi from Korea almost matched him stroke for stroke over the second round, returning the same six-under-par 65 and recovering to 1 under overall. Yesterday's leader Miguel Angel Jimenez remained a strong contender only one stroke behind Garcia after recording a second round score of 67 also with only 2 dropped shots.
The leading pack of Ryder Cup players was completed by wildcard Luke Donald who matched Jimenez' 67 to extend his overall score to 8 under, tying for third place with South Africa's Charl Schwarztel. Yet another 4 under round, carded by Ernie Els, helped the world's number three to improve to 6 under overall and make his first appearance on the leader board.
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