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Lawrie aims to retain Spanish Open trophy

Nobody has made a successful defence of the Spanish Open since Max Faulkner way back in 1953.

But if Dubliner Peter Lawrie completes the double tomorrow it will taste particularly sweet.

The 35-year-old, who burst into third place today with six birdies in eight holes, is not best pleased about a lack of recognition this week.

Lawrie, who goes into the third round at PGA Catalunya near Girona three strokes behind France's Thomas Levet, said after his 66: "There's not one picture of me anywhere. I thought I would at least deserve something — it's disappointing.

"Somebody said yesterday about me being the ex-Spanish Open champion. I said 'No, I am the current Spanish Open champion.' I just have to try to play well and let the scores make the point."

The pre-event publicity was dominated by John Daly's golfing comeback after four months out and Colin Montgomerie's late decision to play.

But Montgomerie is already out of the event after crashing to an 81 in the much windier afternoon conditions and Daly — still serving a six-month US Tour ban imposed after he was thrown in jail to sober up last October — is deep in the pack on two under.

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