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Friday, 01 June 2001
Australia's Ian Stanley had a hot putter to thank for sharing the lead after the second round of the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship over the new Jack Nicklaus course at Carden Park in Cheshire.

Stanley, 52, from Melbourne, whose first European Seniors Tour success came at last season's Kaiser Karl Coca-Cola event in Germany, holed three putts from over 30-feet while recording a six under par 66 to go into the third round on seven under par 137, tied with New Zealand's Simon Owen, the Seniors Tour rookie best known for finishing runner-up behind Jack Nicklaus at the 1978 Open Championship at St Andrews.

The leading British golfer was England's Nick Job, the head pro at Richmond GC in London, who carded a one under par 71 for a five under par aggregate of 139.

Scotland's Jim Farmer, who owns a golf shop in St Andrews, returned a level par 72 for a two round aggregate of 140 to share fourth place with America's JR Delich and overnight leader, Malcolm Bembridge. Bembridge returned a second round 75, which was was 10 shot worse than the score he produced in the opening round, but still enough to finish one shot in front of America's David Ojala.

"It was one of those rounds," said Stanley, one of 23 European Seniors Tour members to have competed in last week's US PGA Seniors Championship at Ridgewood CC, New Jersey.

"I holed out from about 30-feet from off the green for an eagle on the 9th, followed that with another 35-footer on 11th and then capped it all with another monster for another birdie on the 16th."

Stanley, a regular on the European Seniors Tour who spends the off-season commentating for Fox TV in Australia, was delighted with his round but was determined to keep things in perspective.

"It's too early to start celebrating just yet," he said.

"This Tour is becoming more and more competitive all the time. There's still a lot of golf to be played, so much so that I won't even be touching a glass of wine tonight.

"It's not like the good old days, you know."

Owen, who sold his farm Down Under in order to finance his first sortie on the Seniors circuit, opened with a steady four under par 68 but had to work much harder for his 69 in the second round.

"It was a bit of a battle out there", said the Kiwi who finished runner up behind Japan's Seiji Ebihara at the AIB Irish Seniors Open at Powerscourt on his second outing on the European Seniors circuit.

"I didn't hit the ball quite as crisply as I did in the first round. Yesterday, 68 was about as bad as I could have scored but today it was all very different. In fact, 69 was about as good as I could have been."

At the other end of the leaderboard Welsh former Ryder Cup player, Brian Huggett, endured a torrid round during which he lost the services of his long-term caddie, John Price, prior to reaching the turn.

Price, 58, from Abergovenny, started to feel unwell early in the round and was rushed to the nearby Countess of Chester Hospital for tests. In his absence, Huggett slumped to a 77 for a two round total of 153, well outside the cut mark.

Among the other golfers to miss the cut was Tommy Horton, the Englishman who headed the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit on five occasions between 1993 and 1999.

Horton, who lives in Jersey, produced a second round 72 but that was not quite enough to repair the damage done by a five over par 77 during the first round. Incredibly, it was only the second cut he has missed since joining the Seniors circuit at its inception in 1992.

The cut fell at four over par 147 and among the other golfers to miss out were Ireland's Liam Higgins (73-76) Australia's Bob Shearer (77-74), Spain's Antonio Garrido (74-77), Brazil's Priscillo Diniz (77-75) and England's Brian Waites (78-79).

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