Saturday, 10 August 2002
Dragon Taki moved one step closer to becoming the third successive Japanese winner on the European Seniors Tour when he recorded a flawless seven under par 63 to share the lead with Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan heading into the final round of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open at Bad Ragaz GC in Switzerland.

Taki started the tournament hoping to emulate the successes of Noboru Sugai at the Seniors British Open, presented by MasterCard, and Seiji Ebihara at the De Vere PGA Championship and he gave himself every chance to do just that with an incredible putting round during which he holed no less than six putts from over 25 feet.

The Japanese golfer set the tone for his round when he birdied from 18 feet on the 418 yard par four fifth hole. He also holed from long range for further birdies on the seventh, ninth, 11th, 15th and 16th and then saved the best till last by knocking one in from 40 feet for a two on the 178 yard par three 17th.

"I could not believe the putts I holed out there today," said the former Japan PGA Long Driving champion. "I hit the ball well but I have got to admit I was lucky as well."

Taki's flawless 63 gave him a ten under par two round aggregate of 130 and a share of the lead alongside Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan began his quest for a fifth Seniors Tour title with a four under par 66 and he shaved two shots off that total in the second round with a flawless six under par 64.

The former Irish amateur champion from Cork made a fast start when he secured birdies at the second, third and fourth holes and he then added further birdies at the 12th, 14th and 16th to tie with his Japanese rival.

"I'm hitting it nicely and I didn't get into much trouble which is the secret round here," said O'Sullivan.

"I don't know much about Dragon but he must be playing well to score as well as he has done round here. I look forward to going up against him tomorrow."

O'Sullivan and Taki go into the final round with a one shot lead over England's David Creamer who carded a five under par 65 that included seven birdies and two dropped shots on the sixth and the 17th holes.

England's Ian Mosey also recorded a 65 to share fourth place with Scotland's John Chillas and Australia's Noel Ratcliffe on 132 and America's Steve Stull, who won the Royal Westmoreland Barbados Seniors Open in March, is one shot further back after a 66.

Chillas, the club professional at Glenbervie, had opened with a 65 to go into the second round in a share of lead with Australia's David Good but he could not quite capitalise on his chances during a second round 67.

The former Scottish PGA champion carded birdies on the second, the fourth, the seventh and the 10th but then dropped his only shot of the day on the 577 yard par five 12th.

"It was just one of those rounds," said Chillas. "It's a frustrating course. You feel like you want to attack it but when you do it is very easy to get into trouble. You have got to be very careful at all times.”

Meanwhile, Chillas’s compatriot, David Huish, lost his chance to win the tournament for the third year in succession when he carded a two over par 72. He goes into the last round in a share of 51st place, 12 shots behind the leaders.

South Africa's Bobby Verwey holds a two shot lead in the race for the 1,500 euro (£950) Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor aged 60 or over. Verwey carded a one under par 69 to post a two round aggregate of five under par 135.

England's Tommy Horton is the South African's nearest challenger. The 61 year old former European Seniors Tour Number One from Jersey also recorded a 69 to post a three under par two round aggregate of 137.

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