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Sjoland Leads, Faldo Misses Cut

September 4, 1998

CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) _ Patrik Sjoland replaced Darren Clarke as the leader in the European Masters, while Nick Faldo missed the cut for the first time in Europe in more than four years Friday.

Sjoland fired a 5-under par 66 for an 11-under 131 total after two rounds on the Crans-Sur-Sierre course.

He was one stroke ahead of first-round leader Clarke, who shot a 68.

Sjoland had four birdies and an eagle on his back nine, driving within eight feet of the flag at the 290-yard seventh hole.

Clarke, No. 2 on the European tour money list behind Lee Westwood, was tied for second with Germany’s Sven Struver, who had a 63, and Switzerland’s Christophe Bovet (64).

Clarke is in a battle with Westwood and five-time European No. 1 Colin Montgomerie for the top place on the tour this season. The $218,661 Masters winner’s purse has increased the stakes.

Clarke hit the ball better in the second round but missed chances on the greens hurt him.

Westwood, returning from a hip injury which forced him out of last week’s BMW International, started his second round with five birdies in six holes before settling for a 68 and a 138 total.

His playing partner, Montgomerie, who had missed the cut in his previous two tournaments, opened with three birdies and finished with three more to move into a group of seven at 136.

Montgomerie was happy with the start and finish of his round but was concerned after twisting his ankle on the ninth hole. He injured the same ankle when he tripped signing autographs in July.

``I’m lucky it didn’t affect me more _ I really turned it again,″ he said. ``I can still feel it and it’s weak anyway.″

Faldo, winless in 18 months, continued his run of poor form, failing by one stroke to make the cut with a 1-under 70 for 141.

``My putting routine is good, but I need to work on my touch,″ Faldo said. ``These greens were too new _ for me anyway.″

Justin Rose, who tied for fourth in the British Open _ the best finish by an amateur since 1953 _ missed his fifth successive cut since turning pro.

The 18-year-old had a second-round 77 for 147.

He has two more tournaments _ the British Masters and German Masters _ to accrue $82,000 or he will have to play the nine-round qualifying school to earn a tour card for next season.

``It’s not pressure that’s making me play like this _ I’m just fighting my game a bit at the moment,″ Rose said. ``Every time I miss the cut, it gets harder. I don’t think it’s anything major. It’s all to do with confidence.

``There’s no real reason why I’m playing so badly.″

Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal barely made the cut, qualifying at 140.

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