Saint and sinner

Top Portuguese golfer Ricardo Santos passed through heaven and hell during his final attempt to qualify for this week’s Dubai World Tour Championship at the PGA €5 million Turkish Open.

The Algarvean excelled during an opening day interrupted by high winds and thunder storms, eventually carding seven birdies and one bogey on the Antalya Maxx Royal course for a sublime six-under-par round which left him in fourth place – just one shot behind joint overnight leaders Paul Casey, Steve Webster and Darren Fichardt.

Unfortunately Friday’s follow-up proved once again that erratic form swings have been Santos’ biggest handicap this season. While the likes of Tiger Woods, marooned in 50th place following a disappointing initial effort, began motoring with a tournament best nine-under-par 63, the 30-year-old from Faro struggled to find both fairways and holes.

At the end of a callamitous second day, featuring no less than two bogeys and a double bogey, a round of 75 stood to book, leaving him in 56th place and out of the Dubai running at the half-way stage.

Subsequent scores of 71 and 72 did not improve matters and dreams of a desert bonanza will have to wait at least another year.

Where Santos failed, former top amateur Victor Duboisson succeeded – the 23-year-old Frenchman pocketed over €800,000 for his maiden tour win with Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Tiger Woods and English pair Justin Rose and Ian Poulter filling the minor places. Skip Bandele