Chilean Guillermo Encina, chasing his first win on the European Seniors Tour, took the second round lead along with Australian David Good in the Sanremo Masters after they both fired six under par 63s.
Encina, best known for breaking The European Tour record for the longest hole in one last year, and Good reached nine under par for the tournament for a one shot advantage over Frenchman Gery Watine and Seiji Ebihara from Japan.
Watine, also hungry for a first title, shot a 64 while Ebihara returned a 66. Italian Giuseppe Cali is a further stroke back after carding a 63.
England’s Carl Mason, the joint first round leader, slipped back with a 70 but is just four strokes behind the leaders. Mason leads the Seniors Tour Order of Merit list having won five times this year.
“It’s tricky out there but you can definitely make a score. I played well and am really pleased to be up there,” said Encina, who is in his third year on the Seniors Tour.
The 52 year old Chilean, twice a runner up on the Seniors Tour, claimed an eagle, five birdies and dropped one shot.
“I have had a few chances to win especially in 2002 and 2003 so it would mean a lot to finally lift a trophy,” added Encina.
In last year’s Tunisian Seniors he made an ace on the 354 yard par four 11th and won 354 bottles of Hardys wine, which did little for him as he does not drink.
Good, who underwent Angio Plast surgery at the start of this year and also in 2002, played some impressive golf and made only one bogey.
“It was a good round, could have been better but I am in the hunt with just a day to go,” said the Australian, who birdied three out of the last four holes and is looking for his third Tour title.
Watine nailed seven birdies to stake his claim.
“I played quite well. My putting is not so good. I could have been very low especially in the first round. I played really great on day one, better than today. My game is okay. I have come close a couple of times this year, so I hope this week will be perfect,” said Watine, who learned the game growing up in Morocco where his father was in business.
It would be a special day if Cali were able to triumph in what is the inaugural Sanremo Masters. He has also yet to win on the Seniors Tour but has had four top five finishes this season.
“Let’s see what happens. I don’t want to think too much about winning but it would be great,” said Cali, who carded a bogey free round.
Scotland’s Bill Longmuir, joint leader with Mason after the first round, returned a 69 and is three back.