Caldwell bows out in Valderrama as Hidalgo, Otaegui and Lee lead

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Jonathan Caldwell (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Jonathan Caldwell missed the cut at the Estrella Damm NA Andalucia Masters in Valderrama as Angel Hidalgo shot a blistering 63 to share the lead with fellow Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and Min Woo Lee on nine-under.

Clandeboye’s Caldwell shot a six-over 77 to miss the cut on that number after an opening round of 72.

It was a week that started well for the 38-year-old who was four-under after eight holes yesterday, but he will take a backseat this weekend as the day was about Hidalgo who stole the show.

The 24-year-old home favourite produced a putting masterclass at Real Club Valderrama on day two, holing a series of lengthy birdie efforts and pulling off some impressive par saves as he made eight gains and no bogeys to sit alongside Min Woo Lee and Adrian Otaegui on nine under par.

Starting from the tenth tee on Friday morning, Hidalgo opened his birdie account from long range at the 11th before closing his front nine with a hat-trick of gains on the 16th, 17th and 18th.

Roared on by the crowd, the Spaniard then reeled off four straight birdies from the third hole before getting up and down for valuable pars at the seventh and ninth to keep his card clean.

First-round co-leader Lee joined Hidalgo at the summit in the afternoon thanks to a 67 which featured a magnificent eagle, three birdies and a single bogey.

Two-time DP World Tour winner Lee battled hard on the back nine, parring the final seven holes courtesy of some excellent recovery shots.

Spain’s Otaegui made it a three-way tie late in the day, notching six birdies and one bogey in his 66.

The leading trio were three shots clear of Swede Joakim Lagergren in fourth, with Scot Robert MacIntyre and Spain’s Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez another shot back on five under.

Early starter Hidalgo picked up his first shot of the day at the 11th, converting his 31-foot birdie putt.

His next birdie arrived at the 16th, where he rolled in from just shy of ten feet before making it two in a row on the 17th.

Hidalgo then sent his approach at the 18th to 16 feet before once again slotting in the birdie putt.

Having taken advantage of the short third, Hidalgo confidently poured in his birdie try from 15 feet at the par-five fourth before close-range birdies on the fifth and sixth made it four in a row.

He avoided a dropped shot at the seventh thanks to a great up-and-down, before making an even more impressive par save on the ninth to head into the clubhouse on nine under.

Hidalgo said: “I started the day hitting it so badly on the range, but I just tried to put the ball in the fairway on the first few holes and started to take some confidence. I made every putt today and that was the key.

“The support was amazing. It’s the first time I’ve played with so many people following me. I was a bit nervous at times, but it was a great feeling.

“A 63 is a dream score and I’m so happy.”

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