Paul Wesselingh kept his hopes of finishing fourth on the European Senior Tour Order of Merit alive with a seven under par 65 in the second round of the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius.
A superb rescue club approach shot to a foot from 220yards on the sixth hole set up an eagle for the 2012 Rookie of the Year, who also carded eight birdies to move to six under par for the tournament and into joint fifth position at Constance Belle Mare Plage.
Wesselingh is trying to sign off a fine debut European Senior Tour campaign in style, having already won the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship and recorded eight top ten finishes – the most of any player on the Senior Tour.
Currently fifth on the Order of Merit, the six-time PGA Cup player is trying to break into the top four in order to secure a place in next year’s US Senior Open.
He began the tournament €13,249 behind Australian Peter Fowler, the 2011 Order of Merit winner who occupies fourth position and who joined him in fifth position in the tournament with a three under par 69.
Wesselingh strenghthened his chances of overhauling him with a superb display around the Legend Course.
“I’m absolutely delighted with that round,” he said. “I really got the putter going today. I played ok yesterday but didn’t hole much. Today I hit a lot of greens and I I’ve just holed a lot of putts. I only had 23 putts today.
“I had a couple of loose drives but in general my irons into the green were great. I started this week looking at catching Peter but he’s playing well so I knew I’d have to have a great week and him not do so well. So I knew it would be tough and he’s up there.
“So I was more looking at keeping my position at fifth and hopefully I can do that.”
Fowler received the John Jacobs Trophy in Mauritius last year for winning the Order of Merit, and he will be hoping to hold off the challenge of Wesselingh.
He opened with a birdie before an eagled on the fourth hole was followed by a double bogey on the sixth. Fowler picked up birdies on the 13th and 17th holes to join Wesselingh on six under par and set up an intriguing final day, with Tim Thelen and Barry Lane also battling it out for second place on the Order of Merit.
Thelen carded a 67 and is in second position in the tournament, four shots behind leader David Frost on nine under par, while Lane is a shot further back following a 66.