Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan defied strong winds and a difficult golf course to open a one stroke lead after the second round of the Palmerston Trophy over the Nick Faldo course at the Palmerston Golf Resort near Berlin.
O'Sullivan, 52, a former Irish amateur international from Cork, added a level par 72 to his opening 71 to go into the final round a single shot ahead of Australia's Geoff Parslow and Northern Ireland's Eddie Polland, who both returned second successive 72s.
Seiji Ebihara, the Japanese golfer who has already won twice on this season’s Seniors Tour, and is endeavouring to be come just the fourth golfer in the Tour’s history to record three victories in a single season, returned a three over par 75 to share fourth place with Scotland’s Bernard Gallacher, America's David Oakley and Canada's John Irwin. Oakley and Irwin both recorded 73s while Gallacher returned a 74.
"I decided to widen my swing after the first round at last week's tournament in Jersey and since then I have hardly hit a bad shot," said O'Sullivan who won twice on last year's European Seniors Tour at the Dan Technology Seniors Tournament of Champions and the Abu Dhabi Seniors Tour Championship.
"I hit 16 greens in regulation yesterday and another 15 today and that is no mean feat on a course as difficult as this. My putting is the only thing that has let me down a bit. If I had holed a few more 10 or 12 footers I could have shot two really low scores."
The Faldo course at the Palmerston Resort is recognised as one of Europe's toughest tests and its defences were further strengthened by winds gusting up to 25 mph. As a result, America's Jeff Van Wagenen and Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, two of the biggest hitters on the Seniors Tour, were the only two players to record under par scores during a difficult second round.
Both men returned three under par 69s to make significant advances up the field. Cambridge moved up to a share of 8th place on 146 alongside Americans, Jerry Bruner and Ray Carrasco, and England’s Denis Durnian, the man who won the European Seniors Tour record first prize of £83,320 at the recent Wales Seniors Open at Royal St David’s and then followed that up with a share of second place with Cambridge at last week’s Microlease Jersey Seniors Masters.
Van Wagenen progressed into a tie for 16th place on 148 alongside Terry Gale, Jim Rhodes, John Morgan, Peter Dawson and Jay Horton, one shot behind Brazil’s Priscillo Diniz, Italy’s Alberto Croce, England’s Malcolm Gregson and Australia’s David Good who are all tied for 12th place on 147.
At the other end of the leaderboard, Scotland’s Mike Miller birdied two of his last three holes to make the cut with nothing to spare on 10 over par 154. But there was no such luck for Australia’s Ian Stanley, winner of this year’s De Vere PGA Seniors Championship, who missed out after a disastrous 81 put him on 156.
Spain’s Manuel Ballesteros and England’s David Creamer, who both finished on 155 after identical rounds of 80 and 75, were among the other golfers to miss the cut.
Canada’s Bill Hardwick goes into the last round leading the race for the £500 Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading golfer over the age of 60.
Hardwick recorded round of 73 and 77 for a two round total of 150, two shots better than South Africa’s John Fourie.