England's Brian Evans produced one of the finest performances of his life to defeat Tommy Horton 2 & 1 in the second round of The Daily Telegraph/Sodexho European Seniors Match Play Championship at the new Flamingos G.C. in southern Spain.
Evans, 50, the director of golf at the Pinheiros Altos club in Portugal, who got into this event as a special sponsor's invite, now goes on to meet Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, a 5 & 4 victor over England's Ian Mosey.
Evans, a member of the victorious GB & I PGA Cup team at St Mellion in 1978, lost the 403 yard par four third to a birdie but drew level with a par on the fifth and was never behind again. He made the decisive move when he won both the 350 yard par 4 14th and the 354 yard 16th with birdies and then knocked out the former Seniors Tour No. 1 with a regulation par on the 361 yard par four 17th.
"This means an awful lot to me," said the delighted Evans, who was once spent spells as professional at both Runcorn and Teignmouth. "Over the last few weeks I have only had time to play a couple of fourballs with some members but I played very nicely and am delighted to get through.
"To be honest, I still can't quite believe that I have managed to beat two golfers of the calibre of Maurice (Bembridge) and Tommy," he added. "It's a little bit hard to fathom. Everything from now on will be a bit of a bonus."
His opponent, Cambridge, a winner of two events on this season's Seniors Tour, has won both his opening matches on the 14th green. On the first day, he defeated the fancied Australian, David Good, 5 & 4 and he replicated that result with a second round win over England's Ian Mosey.
Cambridge and Mosey halved their first two holes before the Jamaican moved into a three hole lead after winning three successive holes from the third. He lost the sixth to a birdie but went back to three ahead with a birdie of his own on the 12th before sealing the victory with a par on the 13th and a birdie on the14th.
"I am delighted with the way I have played over the last two days," said the winner of this season's Microlease Jersey Seniors Masters and Bovis Lend Lease European Senior Masters. "It's also great to get things over early because it's a tough course to walk."
Spain's Antonio Garrido kept the home hopes very much alive with a decisive 5 & 4 victory over Scotland's John Chillas.
Garrido, the 1972 Spanish Open champion, won the opening hole when Chillas hit his tee shot into the hazard and that seemed to set the tone for the match.
The Scot dropped further shots at both the 180 yard par four third and the 342 yard par four fourth to go three down. He fell further behind when Garrido secured a birdie at the 495 yard par five sixth and then also lost the 403 yard par five 12th to go five down. The match ended two holes later when both men traded regulation par fours.
"It was just one of those days," said Chillas. "I misjudged the wind off the first tee and couldn't get going after that. But Antonio played well. He's going to be hard to beat."
Garrido will now face Northern Ireland's Eddie Polland, the 1975 Sun Alliance PGA Match Play champion, and a man who won two Spanish Open titles in 1976 and 1980. He emerged with a 3 & 2 win against Brazil's Priscillo Diniz.
Diniz, the 2000 champion, was very much the architect of his own downfall. The duo halved the first five holes but the Brazilian then failed to finish each of the next three holes to fall three behind. In the end, that proved to be the decisive period of the match. Thereafter, the two men halved the next seven holes. Diniz did win the 513 yard par five 15th to reduce the deficit to two but Polland closed out the match in decisive fashion when he drove the green at the downhill 354 yard par four 16th to set up a winning eagle two.
The closest match of the second round involved No. 1 seed, Denis Durnian, who scrapped through at the 19th hole against Ian Mosey in a match in which there was never more than one hole in it.
Durnian, winner of the recent Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open, won the last with a par and then hit a glorious five-iron 200 yards onto the green at the 19th to set up a third round encounter with Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan, a 3 & 2 victor over Australia's Noel Ratcliffe.
The former Irish Amateur champion was one down at the turn but won the 484 yard par five tenth with an eagle and the 209 yard 11th with a birdie two. He doubled his advantage with a par on the 350 yard par four 14th and then sealed things two holes later with his fifth birdie of the day.
The fourth quarter-final will be contested between Scotland's Mike Miller and England's Nick Job who both won their respective matches 4 & 3.
Miller was four up as early as the sixth hole against England's John Morgan. He lost the ninth to a birdie but then won the tenth with an eagle and the 12th with a par. Morgan looked like he might prolonged the match a little bit longer when he claimed a birdie of his own at the 350 yard 14th but the Scot wrapped things up with a solid par five on the following hole.
Job, the club professional at Richmond GC in London, also got off to a flying start against Ireland's Joe McDermott. He was three up after eight and still three up on the 14th tee before finishing the match with two consecutive birdies.