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Friday, 19 March 2010
England's Neil Coles gave himself a great chance to extend his own record as the oldest winner on the European Seniors Tour when he carded a flawless five under par 67 to move into a one shot lead heading into the final round of the Bovis Lend Lease European Senior Masters over the Duke's course at Woburn G & CC.

Earlier this year the remarkable Coles eclipsed his own old record when he won the Lawrence Batley Seniors Open at the age of 67 and 276 days and he could extend that to 67 and 354 days if he can hold off his leading challengers in the final round.

Coles goes into the closing 18 holes on six under par 138 after a superb second round in which he carded five birdies and did not drop a single shot.

The former Ryder Cup star made his first advance when he holed from eight foot for a par on the 514 yard par five opening hole. He also birdied the 510 yard par five fifth to turn in 33 and then romped home with further birdies at the 11th, 13th and 16th.

"I played very well," said Coles before admitting that he thought nothing about competing against men almost 18 years younger than him.

"I can still hold my own if I get a few putts in and I love the competition. That's what keeps me going, I suppose."

Coles goes into the final day one shot ahead of a strong threesome comprising Ireland's Eamonn Darcy, America's Alan Tapie and Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge with England's John Morgan sharing fifth place with Australian's David Good and Ross Metherell one shot further back on four under par 140.

Darcy, who turned 50 on August 7th, and is making just his second start on the Seniors Tour, opened fine a fine four under par 68 but found things a bit more difficult during a second round 71.

The Former Ryder Cup star came to the last standing at level par for the day but salvaged something with a glorious sand iron that stopped no more than two inches from the hole.

"It was a good finish to a bad day," said Darcy. "It was one of those days when I nothing much happened. I hit a few poor irons and had three or four putts lip out on me and it all added up to a disappointing 71.

"But I'm looking forward tomorrow and am hoping for a grandstand finish."

Earlier in the day America's Steve Stull gave himself plenty of scope to celebrate when he won 134 bottles of Hardys Australian wine for holing-in-one on the 134- yard par three third hole.

Stull, winner of this season's Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open, produced one of the most amazing starts to a round ever seen on the Seniors Tour.

He opened his round with an eagle three on the 514 yard par five opening hole and then moved to four under par after three holes when he holed his wedge shot for the sixth ace of his career on the third.

The American continued his stunning start with birdies on the 366 yard fourth and the 510 yard par five fifth. He dropped shots at the seventh and eighth to go out in four under par 31 but then came home with nine straight pars to go into final round tied with Ireland's Christy O'Connor, Brazil's Priscillo Diniz, New Zealand's Simon Owen and England's Steve Wild on two under par 142.

"I don't think I have ever started a round like that before," said the American. "It was almost surreal and it could have been even better because I lipped out from about 20 feet on the second.

"I once scored three eagles in one round in a tournament in the States and I thought I was going to do it again," he added. "In the end I couldn't do it but at least I have got myself back in contention which isn't bad considering I started eight shots back this morning."

Ireland's Christy O'Connor carded a three under par 69 that could have been a good deal better but for a series of missed putts.

The former Senior British Open champion carded six birdies but also missed no less than eight putts from six feet and under.

"I have wasted a great opportunity," said the Irishman. "It was unbelievable. I hit the ball as well as I have ever done but just couldn't get the back in the hole.

"I should have scored about 60," he added ruefully.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1COLES, NeilENG18-5
2PIÑERO, ManuelESP18Par
3JOB, NickENG186
4GALLACHER, BernardSCO187
5CAMBRIDGE, DelroyJAM18-9
T6EBIHARA, SeijiJPN18-7
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