Mike Slater, a 15-stone professional from the Portal Club at Tarporley in Cheshire, powered to a new course record 65 to snatch a one shot second round lead in the PGA Seniors Championship at The Belfry.
Slater, known as "Big Red" to his Cheshire supporters, drove it long and straight to extract six birdies and an eagle three at the par five 10th for the second successive day. It all added up to a seven under par half-way total and put him in line for the winning cheque.
His eagle, achieved with a four-wood to 12 feet, followed an immaculate front nine featuring four sub-par scores to be out in 32. He made two more birdies on the way home, his only blemish being a bogey five at the 15th where he, for the only time, missed the green.
Slater, who also set a new course record 64 at Ferndown two weeks ago, said: "The funny thing is, I'm not putting all that well. I just hit it in close today for that score but I missed two simple four-footers. I have been practising with the left hand below the right on the putter, but now I think I had better wait before trying it out on the course."
Slater was a shot behind Terry Gale, the 1996 champion, until the Australian double bogeyed the 16th to fall back to six under. Fellow countryman, Ross Metherell, who held off Slater to win at Ferndown, took close order at five under after a 68. And Scotland's David Huish, is still in touch, a level 72 keeping him in a clutch of four at four under.
Leading 2nd Round scores :
137 M Slater 72 65
139 R Metherell (Aust) 71 68
138 T Gale (Aust) 68 70
140 D Huish 68 72, B Hardwick (Can) 70 70, J Van Wagenen (USA) 70 70, A Bardha (USA) 68 72
141 G Macdonald 68 73, G Parslow (Aust) 66 75, J. Bruner (USA) 69 72
142 R Webster 71 71, TR Jones (USA) 71 71, J Rhodes 72 70, B Brask (USA) 72 70, C Defoy 68 74, T. Persson (Swe) 74 68
143 C Evans (USA) 71 72, R Carrasco (USA) 70 73, L Higgins 75 68
144 B Verwey (SA) 73 71, J Grace (USA) 70 74, R Campagnoli (It) 70 74, D Jones 73 71, I Stanley (Aust) 71 73, H Jackson 68 76