David J Russell’s hopes of a maiden European Senior Tour title suffered a major blow when he a endured a nightmare two holes in the final round of The De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship.
Russell, who has finished runner up nine times on the Senior Tour, had started the day with a commanding four stroke lead and began steadily enough, with a three birdies and one bogey in his opening seven holes.
However a disastrous triple bogey seven on the eighth knocked the Englishman out of his stride and he followed that with a double bogey six on the ninth to fall back to five over par for the Championship.
That meant he was joined at the top of the leaderboard at De Vere Slaley Hall by Paraguay’s Angel Franco, who reached the turn in three under par 33.
Things got even worse for Russell on the next hole when he posted another bogey to lose the lead for the first time since the opening round.
Franco, who has finished runner up six times on the Senior Tour himself, was joint second last year alongside Chris Williams, who was one shot behind the leader through ten holes.
Further back are Scotland’s Ross Drummond and Des Smyth, while Gordon Brand Jnr, Barry Lane and former World Number One Ian Woosnam are also inside the top ten.