Peter Fowler and Barry Lane turned up the heat in their battle for the John Jacobs Trophy, as both players climbed up the leaderboard in the second round of the MCB Tour Championship.
The leading two players on the European Senior Tour Order of Merit both struggled in their opening round at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Fowler posting a 73 and Lane a 75. However they returned to form in style with improved displays to ensure their battle for the Number One spot goes right to the wire in Sunday’s final round.
Fowler, who has a €25,569 advantage in the Order of Merit, carded four birdies in six holes before the turn in a round of 68, to move to three under par for the tournament.
“I worked on a few things after my round yesterday and got things organised and the thought processes working,” said Fowler. “It was good today, especially not to drop any shots.
“I’ve been pleased with my consistency this year and it would be great to finish this event well too. I’ve had a lot of rounds with no bogeys and this was another.”
Lane had struggled with heat exhaustion during the opening round but after investing in a new outfit to help him keep cooler, the former Ryder Cup player posted a four under par 68 despite finding the water on the ninth. He is two shots behind Fowler going into the final round.
“I was so bad yesterday I thought I was going to be sick on the 17th when I sipped some water so I bought a cotton outfit and a new hat and wore a wet towel round my neck to keep cool,” said Lane.
“I felt much better today and that round means I still have a chance. If I can shoot 63 tomorrow you never know.”
Overnight leader Tom Lehman continued his dominant display so far, picking up birdies on the second, fourth and eighth holes to move to ten under par for the tournament before his only bogey of the tournament so far on the ninth.
Playing partner David Frost also dropped a shot on the ninth but carded three birdies before the turn as well to keep the gap at three shots.
Scotland’s Andrew Oldcorn, who had been struggling with an eye problem, carded a superb 67 to move to one under par for the tournament.
Oldcorn had an operation to remove a cataract in his right eye in October was a doubt to play in the MCB Tour Championship and was affected by the problem in his opening round 76. After being given some eye drops by the tournament doctor to stop the irritation he improved on that score by nine shots in his second round, with five birdies in seven holes from the fourth hole.
“That was exactly what I was looking for today” said the 51 year old. “I didn’t feel like I was swinging it well yesterday so it was unexpected but I had a nice rhythm today. It’s been a while since I had a round like that.”