Argentina's Horacio Carbonetti moved one step closer to winning his first European Seniors Tour title when he carded his second successive six under par 64 to move into a two shot after the second round of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open at Bad Ragaz in Switzerland.
Carbonetti, the winner of the 2002 Seniors Tour Qualifying School, goes into the final on 12 under par 128, two shots ahead of South Africa's Neville Clarke and three in front of Brazil's Priscillo Diniz, who tied the Bad Ragaz course record with a glorious eight under par round of 62.
Canada's John Irwin and Australia's Terry Gale share fourth place on eight under par 132. However, the man they might all have to watch is Scotland's Bill Longmuir, a winner of two titles in his last four outings. Longmuir added a six under par 64 to his opening 69 to go into the final round tied for sixth place with Englishmen, David Creamer and John Morgan, on seven under par 133.
Carbonetti, a 55 year old from Rio Cuarto, Argentina, set a new Seniors Tour 36-hole aggregate record after a blistering round that included seven birdies and just one dropped shot.
He made his first move of the day when he birdied the 334 yard par four second, made further advances and the fifth, seventh and tenth before dropping his only shot of the day when he drove into trouble on the 577 yard par five 12th. Thereafter, he also birdied the 301 yard par four 15th and the 478 yard par five 16th to shave one shot off the existing Seniors Tour 36 hole scoring record, set by Gale and England's Keith MacDonald at the 2002 GIN Monte Carlo Invitational.
"That was a good round of golf," said the delighted Argentinian. "I managed to hit the ball straight, which is the key to success on this course, and I putted well too.
"I am looking forward to tomorrow."
Diniz tied David Huish's existing Bad Ragaz course record with an eight under par 62 that included eight birdies and no dropped shots. The Brazilian started his birdie barrage with a two on the 140 yard par three third hole and also birdied the fourth and the seventh to go out in 32. Coming home, he birdied the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th before claiming his place in the record books with a five foot putt for another birdie on the final hole.
"That's the best I have played for a long time," said Diniz. "For the last few weeks my putting has been terrible. But today I hit it so close it didn't matter how I putted. I just wish every round was like that."
Longmuir arrived in Switzerland having won both the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship. Were he to win here, he would set a new Seniors Tour record, claiming three victories in his first seven starts as a Senior. Currently, that particular record is held by Welshman, Brian Huggett, who claimed three victories in his first eight starts back in 1992-93.
Longmuir was two under par for the day when he boarded the 15th tee but then shot into contention after claiming birdies on each of his last four holes.
"That was a great way to finish," he said. "It gives me a chance. At least I have got a sniff at the title, although Horacio will be hard to catch."
England’s David Creamer started the second round tied for the lead with Clarke, one shot ahead of Carbonetti. He dropped back into a share of sixth place alongside Longmuir and Morgan after a lacklustre level par 70 but still retains the lead in the race for the $1,500 Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize, awarded to the leading competitor aged 60 or over.
Creamer, goes into the final round on seven under par 133 and with a two shot lead over England’s Tommy Horton, who shot through the field with a five under par 65.
Australia’s Terry Gale, Scotland’s Mike Miller, England’s, John Morgan, Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan and New Zealand’s Simon Owen also all shot 65s on day in which the scoring was almost as hot as the weather.