Formidable Forsbrand forges ahead

8/18/2012 5:58:20 PM
 Anders Forsbrand   (Getty Images)
Anders Forsbrand (Getty Images)

Anders Forsbrand will take a three stroke lead into the final round of the SSE Scottish Senior Open as he bids to become the first Swedish winner on the European Senior Tour.

The six-time European Tour winner, who shared the first round lead with Frenchman March Farry, carded a second consecutive six under par 66 over the Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews to move to 12 under par 132 for the tournament.

On a day of low scoring, Forsbrand produced his best putting display since joining the Senior Tour to establish a three shot cushion from the strong-finishing Englishman David J Russell, who closed with a birdie on the 17th and an eagle three on the par five 18th to also sign for a 66.

Another Englishman, Philip Golding, playing in just his second Senior Tour event, set a new course record with an eight under par 64 to lie a further shot back on eight under par.
But it is Forsbrand, one of the pioneers of Scandinavian golf in the 1980s, who is in pole position for an historic victory on the Senior Tour, 17 years after his last victory on The European Tour.

“It would be great to win but I’m just going to go out and play golf and see what happens,” said Forsbrand. “Last year was brutal for me. It was really difficult and I don’t think I was ready, but I’ve played better and better this year.

“I’ve had rounds where I could have shot really good numbers but the putter has held me back. It’s been close a lot of times and hopefully I can go out tomorrow and shoot another low number.”

Forsbrand was joint runner-up in the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship in June and feels his game is coming together at the right time, despite a shaky start to his second round.

“It was weird because I hit it great on the range and then hit a poor drive on the first and the same on the second and third and fourth, but I holed some great putts there and three birdies in a row was great,” said Forsbrand, who carded eight birdies and two bogeys.

“My irons were great today as well. I had some solid golf today and after three putting the seventh it was really good after that.

“My putting was much better today. That was probably the best putting round I’ve had on the Senior Tour. They were good, solid putts on line.

“This kind of golf is nice and 12 under is always good, but today was much harder as the wind really picked up on the back nine.”

Fresh from winning the British Par 3 Championship last week, Russell is hoping for another success in the penultimate event with his son Chris on the bag before the 29 year old begins a new job as the professional at the soon to be opened International Course in Amsterdam, created by Ian Woosnam and Russell’s RAW Design company.

Russell was sharing the leading in the 2010 event with nine holes to play but fell away and after a rampaging finale to his round, he is hoping to make amends for that and give Chris a special send off.

“What a finish,” said Russell, who holed a 30ft eagle putt on the last. “That’s thrust me into the limelight.

“You’re waiting for the finish at this course. The 17th has to be one of the toughest and best holes in golf. So to finish three, three and shoot 66 is wonderful.”

Former Open de France winner Golding, who made his Senior Tour debut in last month’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, carded eight birdies and no bogeys in his course record 64.

“Yesterday after a 72 I thought I was too far back, being six shots off the pace on day one, but in golf you never know what is going to happen,” he said. “ A 64 today is really good and I’m happy with that.”

Defending champion Barry Lane, who is bidding for a third consecutive victory in the SSE Scottish Senior Open, revived his chances of a Tartan Treble with seven under par 65 to move to  five under par 139 – seven shots off the pace.

Andrew Oldcorn is the leading Scot a further shot back on four under par after a one over par 73. He is tied with Farry (74), former World Number One Woosnam (71) and the Senior Tour’s most successful player Carl Mason (73) in a share of 13th position.