Albatross helps Luiten maintain narrow Valderrama lead

An albatross was the clear highlight of Joost Luiten's round as the Dutchman retained his one-stroke advantage at the halfway stage of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.

Using a four-iron from 227 yards, Luiten holed his second shot at the par-five 11th, greeted with roars of approval from the crowd at the famous course.

Luiten came into the second round as the joint-leader on five under, along with Sergio Garcia, tournament host and defending champion after the last edition of the event in 2011.

Garcia could only card 71 to Luiten's 70 on Friday, however, dropping back to a tie for second alongside Robert Rock (70) and Scott Jamieson (68).

Nine other men are within four shots of the lead but the day undoubtedly belonged to Luiten, who received a bottle of champagne for his efforts at the 11th.

He followed that stunning shot with a birdie two at the 12th, but his chances of a more commanding advantage were scuppered with dropped shots on 15 and 17.

"I'm happy with the way I played," said Luiten, who was runner-up at the same course in the Open de Espana last year.

"I like this place. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and we can win here but there's a lot of golf to be played and we just need to focus on tomorrow and have another good round.

"I think it will play a bit shorter off the tee, it will be a bit harder maybe to hit the fairways if they're going to run off but it's still fairly soft, you can still be aggressive into the pins but you've got to hit the fairways and that's the game-plan for the weekend.

"I think 10 under will be a good number."

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