America's Jerry Bruner had a hot putter to thank for taking a one shot lead into the second round of the Legends in Golf tournament at the Crayestein GC in Holland.
Bruner, 54, who has notched up seven second place finishes but is still to win for the first time on the European Seniors Tour, holed five putts from over 18 feet to come home in five under par 30 and record a 66 that puts him one shot ahead of England's David Creamer.
Americans T.R. Jones and Hank Woodrome, shared third place with Scotland's David Huish and Mike Miller on three under par 68 with two other Americans, Jay Horton and David Ojala, tieing for seventh place with Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge and Australia's David Good on two under par 69.
On a day with a distinctly transatlantic feel to it, another American, David Oakley, the winner of last week's Energis Senior Masters, was among the group one shot further back on one under par 70, although also on that number was England's Denis Durnian, winner of the recent Wales Seniors Open at Royal St David's, who needs to win here this week to knock Australia's Ian Stanley off the No. 1 spot on the official European Seniors Tour Order of Merit.
"Everything clicked real good out there today," said the diminutive Bruner whose nickname is Mouse because of the prodigious distance he hits the ball. "I had seven birdies in yesterday's pro-am and I did the same today. I have been working hard and it is starting to pay off. Let's hope I can keep it going over the weekend."
Creamer, 58, a former English international table tennis player and the winner of the 2000 Energis Seniors Classic at Wentworth, has been struggling for most of this season but bounced back to form with a 67 that included birdies at the first, sixth, 11th, 13th and 14th.
"Over the last few months I have been hitting the ball well but struggling round the greens," he said. "Today was a lot better but I am still a bit disappointed because I three-putted for a bogey on the 16th, lipped out from six feet for abirdie on the 17th and left my birdie putt on the 18th just short of the hole."
Another man who felt he had left something out on the course was Scotland's Mike Miller who finished the day in the group tied in third place on 68 but could have been a good deal better but for three putts spinning back out of the hole.
Miller, 50, a rookie European Seniors Tour pro from Torrance near Glasgow, decided to revert to using a 30 year-old Ping Anser putter he bought while competing for Scotland as an amateur during the 1970s but it did not solve all his problems on the greens.
"I've been putting terribly for the last few weeks so I thought I would have a change," he said. "I would have to admit that I did hole a few more than I've been used to but there's still lots of room for improvement."
Miller left the course ruing what might have been but he was still in a much better frame of mind than his playing partner, America's J.R. Delich, who returned a six over par 77 that would have been considerably better but for a calamitous ten on the 495-yard par-5 sixth hole.
Delich's problems started when he found his second shot lying behind a forked tree to the left of the green. He thought he had room to squeeze his ball through the double trunk but failed with his first two attempts. Thereafter, things went from bad to worse when his ball rebounded on to his legs with his next shot, thereby running up a two shot penalty. He did extricate his ball with his seventh shot, chipped to within six feet but missed the putt for a nine.
"It was just one of those things that happens from time to time," said Miller.