England’s David J Russell stamped his dominance on the Jolie Ville Sharm El Sheikh Seniors Open by adding a second round 66 to his opening 63 to post a fantastic 36 hole total of 15 under par 129 – the lowest first 36 holes to par in Seniors Tour history – and take a three shot lead going into the final round at the Jolie Ville Golf and Resort.
Russell has been in stunning form in Egypt, and consolidated his brilliant nine under par first round score with an excellent 66, which gave him a three shot lead over the American duo of John Benda and Bob Lendzion, who carded respective second round scores of 68 and 67 to move to 12 under.
Bob Cameron of England is two strokes further back on ten under after his own round of 66, with England’s Tony Allen a further shot back alongside the South African pair of Gavan Levenson and John Mashego.
Russell is determined to add a first European Seniors Tour title to his two wins on The European Tour, and admitted that he will be playing against himself in the final round given his three shot lead.
“The only person I have to beat out there tomorrow is myself. Obviously you would rather be leading a tournament by three shots with 18 holes to play, but I think that this golf course will be hard to lead on in many ways because if I find myself missing a few birdie chances and not making any progress then it is conceivable that one of the other players in the field could shoot a spectacular score and catch me up.
“But I can’t think about that too much. If I can go out there and shoot three under then the other guys will have to play really well to catch me, and if they do that then I’ll just have to shoot four under!
“I have won on Tour before so I know what it takes to do and know that I can do it, which will definitely stand me in good stead going into the final round. I’m very pleased at how I have played for the first two rounds especially as I don’t usually like courses where the scoring is really low. But I putted great yesterday – as you have to when you shoot a 63 – and then today I was very solid most of the way round.”
Both Benda and Lendzion were also playing solidly in the final group with Russell, and will pose the biggest threat to the Englishman’s chances of that first Seniors Tour victory as the three players team up again for Sunday’s final round and the battle for the €29,586 first prize on offer.