European Seniors Tour Order of Merit holder Carl Mason of England moved into perfect position to defend his Tobago Plantations Seniors Classic title after joining Delroy Cambridge of Jamaica and Scotland’s Bill Longmuir in a tie for first place on six under par 138 with 18 holes to play at the Tobago Plantations Golf and Resort.
Mason, who is looking to secure the tenth victory of his remarkable Seniors Tour career here in Tobago, started the day with a birdie on the first after an beautiful eight iron approach to the green that came to rest just five feet from the hole. He went to the turn in three under par after picking up another two birdies on the fifth and the ninth.
The 51 year old found the water on the 11th to drop his only shot of the day but rallied in some style as he drained a 30 foot birdie putt on the 14 before finishing off the round with another birdie at the par five 18th.
Mason is well aware that his presence at the top of the leaderboard will cause concern among his fellow competitors, given his outstanding Seniors Tour record of nine victories in two seasons.
“Knowing that the guys are aware of me really gets me going on the course,” he said after signing for his 68. “It spurs me on and I think I am also always trying to show people that the wins I have already had on the Seniors Tour were no flukes.
“It feels good to be in amongst the leaders and I think that the course played very well today, just as we have come to expect. Tomorrow should be a great battle and hopefully I can get that tenth win and defend my title.”
Cambridge produced the best round of the day – a five under par 67 that included an exceptional finish of four birdies in his closing six holes. The 55 year old from Jamaica, who has four Seniors Tour titles to his name, went to the turn in one under 35 before that excellent final burst that saw him hole from 20 feet on the 13th, from ten feet on the 14th and then from 15 feet on the 17th.
He, like Mason, picked up his final shot of the day on the last hole to move to six under for the tournament and afterwards proclaimed that he was approaching something like the form that secured him four Seniors Tour victories between 2001 and 2002.
He said: “I was pleased with the way I finished today and that is a sign of my determination and what I want to do this year on tour. I think I had a bit of a wake up call last year because it was the worst of my Seniors career, so I hope that the way I finished today was a sign of things to come.
“I’m going to go out there tomorrow and try to do exactly as I did today. I am the kind of player that when I start to make birdies I just get hungrier and hungrier to make more putts and play even better and I will have as chance if I can do that in the last round.”
Longmuir had a similar finish to the second round to that of Cambridge, the Scotsman coming home strongly after a disappointing front nine score of 37. The 51 year old quickly got over that with four birdies on the back nine to create a three way tie at the top of the leaderboard.
“It was good to finish strongly today – especially after the first round when I had a poor back nine,” he said. “I was surprised to see myself at the top of the leaderboard when I finished but I am certainly not complaining about it!”
The top three players have a one shot lead over first round leader Bob Cameron of England with 18 holes to play, with the Argentinean brothers Horacio and Luis Carbonetti sharing fifth place with Ireland’s Eamonn Darcy, Noel Ratcliffe of Australia and Frenchman Gery Watine on four under par.