England's Ian Mosey produced the finest round of his short European Seniors Tour career when he recorded a fine seven under par 64 in windy conditions to open a two shot lead after the first round of the Dan Technology Seniors Tournament of Champions at Mere G & CC near Manchester.
Mosey, 50, who was brought up in the Manchester area but now lives in Oxfordshire, has struggled a bit since joining the Seniors circuit at the end of August, but put all that behind him with a sensational round that included eight birdies and a solitary bogey on the 431 yard sixth.
His 64 gave him a two shot led over fellow Englishman, Peter Dawson, with Canada's Bill Hardwick, Northern Ireland's Paul Leonard and America's Bob Lendzion all one shot further back on four under par 67.
Scotland's Mike Miller, winner of last week's unofficial Scottish Senior PGA Championship at Ayr Belleisle, continued that good form with a three under par 68, with Americans, Jerry Bruner and Jay Horton on 69, sharing seventh place with the consistent Jamaican, Delroy Cambridge, who is chasing his tenth top-10 finish on this season's European Seniors Tour.
Mosey, the winner of the 1984 Monte Carlo Open on the European Tour, started his round in sensational fashion with birdies at the 520 yard first, the 388-yard second and the 349 yard fourth. He gained another shot to par with a four on the 494 yard par five ninthth before romping home in 31 with birdies at the 422 yard 10th, the 182 yard 12th, the 386 yard 15th and the 487 yard closing hole.
"I would have to admit that I didn't hit the ball all that well on the front nine but that didn't bother me because I was scoring so well. I hit my first good drive on the 15th and was very solid after that.
The Manchester man then went on to say how surprised he had been at the high standard of golf he had encountered since joining the European Seniors Tour at the Scottish Seniors Open at The Roxburghe.
"I felt that when I came out here I would do quite nicely but it has been a lot harder than I thought," he said. "These guys hit it a lot further than I was expecting and some of the putting has to be seen to be believed."
Dawson, the only left-hander to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, birdied the 169 yard par three third and then eagled the 494 yard par five ninth before moving further under the card with three successive birdies from the 13th. His solitary dropped shot came when he missed the green and then did not get up and down on the 349 yard par four fourth hole.
"It was a good round," he said. "I have been playing pretty solidly for the last few weeks but not been holing any putts. Today, though, was different. I wouldn't say I holed anything outrageous but I at least I didn't miss anything I shouldn't have done, either.
""I think I had about 30 putts which is about five better than my recent average," he added. "Let's hope I can keep it going because I feel I a hitting the ball solid enough to do well."
Canada’s Bill Hardwick produced what was undoubtedly the steadiest round of the day. Despite winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour, Hardwick, 60, from Toronto, he hit seventeen greens in regulation, fired four birdies and did not drop a single shot.
“It was a pretty solid round,” he admitted. “My wife, Patricia, thinks I am playing well because she has just come back over to see me but I was pretty confident anyway. I was six under in the pro-am. I knew I was hitting the ball well and I holed a few more putts than usual.
“That’s normally the key with me,” added. “I tend to be pretty consistent tee to green, so when I get a few putts to drop, I can still post some low numbers.”
At the other end of the leaderboard, defending champion, Denis O'Sullivan, had a day he will want to forget. The Irishman, who won last year’s title at the Buckinghamshire, propped up the field after returning a disappointing seven over par 78.