The two most experienced golfers in the history of European golf, Sam Torrance and Barry Lane, lead the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters after they both shot excellent rounds of 67 to take to the top of the leaderboard at Woburn Golf Club.
Torrance and Lane have amassed an incredible 1381 European Tour appearances between them and they will both be looking to add more silverware to their bulging trophy cabinets this weekend after storming to a joint overnight lead on five under.
“I’m ecstatic, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good start in a tournament so it was good to get off to a good start this week and I’m delighted,” said Torrance, whose superb round came courtesy of a birdie-birdie-eagle run on the ninth, 10th and 11th holes before two more birdies on the 17th and 18th.
The former Ryder Cup Captain’s round, witnessed by bumper crowds on a glorious day at the Duke’s Course at Woburn, was made even more remarkable by the fact that he was forced to withdraw from Thursday’s Pro-Am after suffering a knee injury and almost withdrew from the tournament.
“It happened in the Pro-Am going down the first fairway, I had been fine practicing for an hour and half before I went out and I was walking down the fairway and it just locked,” said the 58 year old.
“I actually went into the bunker in the second and I couldn’t get out, I had to get somebody to help me out so I came in and had some treatment last night.
“I was tentative at the beginning of the round and wasn’t really committing but I kept plugging away and played beautifully.”
Lane, meanwhile, continued a purple patch which saw him win the Cleveland/Srixon Scottish Senior Open just two weeks ago, propelling him to second place in the Senior Tour Order of Merit in the process.
The Englishman got his bogey free round off to the perfect start with a birdie on the first, followed by four more at the fourth, eighth, 14th and 18th holes.
“It was the same in the Pro-Am, I had five birdies and no bogeys so I’m delighted, although I’m not anticipating having no bogeys all week!” said Lane. “It’s nice to be playing well though and to keep my form going from Scotland.”
Boonchu Ruangkit, fresh from collecting his John Jacobs Trophy, Rolex Player of the Year Award and Rookie of the Year Award for the 2010 season at Thursday evening’s annual Senior Tour Awards Dinner, was one shot back on four under after carding a 68.
Carl Mason, chasing a third Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters title, was another shot back alongside Gordon Brand Junior on three under, while former Masters Champion Ian Woosnam is among the eight-strong chasing pack on two under.