Robert Karlsson may have one eye on seniors golf 18 days short of his 50th birthday but the Swede proved he can still mix it with the young guns at the D+D Real Czech Masters.
It was 11 years ago that Karlsson won the European Tour Order of Merit and played in his second Ryder Cup, but an excellent 68 in the tougher morning conditions put him right in contention for win number 12 heading into the weekend at Albatross Golf Resort.
Karlsson's last win came in 2010 and while he admits he is already preparing for Qualifying School on the senior circuit, he was delighted to be back at the right end of the leaderboard in his 621st European Tour event.
“I’m here and I want to play well here but at the same time I’m turning 50 soon and am preparing for the Champions Tour Qualifying School, so I want to get some good results and also build up some good form coming to the end of the season," he said.
"I’ve been working hard this summer and I’ve been having good rounds here and there but haven’t been able to put them together, so it’s nice to be able to put two together.
“I’ve been hitting my iron shots really well - especially yesterday it was really good - and I gave myself a lot chances. Yesterday was probably one of the best days with the irons I have had in years and I gave myself about four birdie chances within three feet, so you should make a few of those!”