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Turespana Masters Open Baleares
Santa Ponsa 1
Mallorca, Spain
7th - 10th May 1998

Par 72 Prize Money 350,000

First Round Report

First Round Scores

Martin shows his mettle to share lead with Luna

Majorca, Spain, 7th May - Miguel Angel Martin, battling a wrist injury and kidney stone problem, shared the lead with Spanish compatriot Santiago Luna after the first round of the Balearic Open on Thursday.

Martin and Luna carded five-under-par 67s to head Italy's Michele Reale, Australian John Wade and two Britons, Andrew McKenna and John Hawksworth, by a stroke.

It was a particularly testing day for Martin. The wrist tendinitis which caused a bitter row between himself and Ryder Cup captain Severiano Ballesteros over Martin's replacement by Jose Maria Olazabal in the 1997 European team has continued to be a problem, he revealed.

His wrist was operated on last August, the month before the Ryder Cup at Valderrama, but, with no sign of the injury healing, further surgery is almost certain.

Martin was hit by a further blow on Wednesday when hospital tests confirmed he was suffering from a kidney stone.

But it was the wrist problem which worried him most after taking an early lead with three birdies in the first four holes and following up with two more coming home.

"I'm starting to think that I may have to go back to the surgeon over my wrist," said Martin. "It's never really been right since my operation last year and is very painful on the softer shots, the wedges.

"It's not even 90 percent recovered. So I'm pretty pleased to be leading.

"The stone is not painful yet and I hope it stays that way until the end of the week at least. Then I'm taking a week off to try to get things sorted out."

Luna went out in two under and then accelerated with an eagle on the 13th and a birdie at the next.

Wade missed a 15-inch putt to deny himself a share of the lead, while Reale picked up five birdies playing alongside Martin after going out one over.