England’s Peter Dawson set himself up with a great chance to win his first title on the European Seniors Tour when he carded a fine two under par 70 during the second round of the Dan Technology Senior Tournament of Championship at the Buckinghamshire.
Dawson, 50, the only left-hander ever to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, goes into the final round tied with Spain’s Manuel Ballesteros and America’s Jeff Van Wagenen but it might have been even better for the Englishman had he not dropped two shots over his last three holes.
“It was a disappointing way to finish the round but at least I’m still in good shape with a round to go,” said Dawson, whose best finish to date since joining the Seniors circuit earlier this season was a second place at the Belfry PGA Seniors Championship.
Van Wagenen went into the second round leading the tournament after an opening round of 65 but he lost ground after he could only return a level par 72. In contrast, Ballesteros one of Seve’s older brothers, moved up from a share of fourth place after a 69 that was just one shot worse than the best-of the-day 68s posted by America’s Jerry Bruner and Scotland’s David Huish.
Van Wagenen, winner of this year’s Tui Seniors Championship at Fleesensee, Germany, is the only one of the leading trio to have won a Seniors Tour event but just one shot behind them are four men who between them have accumulated 10 titles on the Tour.
Scotland’s David Huish, England’s Nick Job, Northern Ireland’s Eddie Polland and America’s John Grace share fourth place on six under par 138 and another previous winner, Australia’s Ian Stanley, is one shot further back, tied alongside Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan.
The final round could prove to be particularly important for Grace, the only three-times winner on this season’s circuit, because if he can win the £20,000 first prize he will open a clear lead ahead of Australia’s Noel Ratcliffe and England’s Tommy Horton at the top of the Seniors Tour Order of Merit.
Heading into the Buckinghamshire event, with just one further counting event left to go, Ratcliffe leads the way with earnings of 155,898 euro (£93,679), some 7000 euro (£4000) ahead of Grace and 35,000 euro (£22,000) in front of Horton. The American however is now four shots ahead of Ratcliffe after the Australian posted a second successive 71 for a two under par total of 142.
Horton, the leading money winner for the last four seasons, was one shot further back after a disappointing 74 that included a double bogey six on the Buckinghamshire’s water-strewn 332-yard 17th hole.Final round tee-times