England’s Nick Job edged one step closer to winning his first European Seniors Tour title for over four years when he carded a flawless six under par 66 to open a one shot lead over France’s Jean Pierre Sallat after the second round of the Charles Church
Scottish Seniors Open at The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course near Kelso.
Job, 56, came into the event fresh from a second place finish behind Argentina’s Eduardo Romero at last week’s Travis Perkins Senior Masters at Wentworth and he hopes to go one better after an excellent performance in which he carded six birdies and did not drop a single shot to par.
He goes into the final round one shot ahead of Sallat who holed out form 50 feet across the final green for a 67 and five in front of two South Africans, Bobby Lincoln and John Mashego, who carded rounds of 66 and 72 respectively. However, it was a bad day for overnight leader, Martin Poxon, who dropped shots at all of his first four holes, posting a ruinous 79 to go into the final round well down the field on two over par 146.
Job last won at the 2001 Lawrence Batley Seniors in Huddersfield but he has been knocking at the door for quite some time. He began this season with a tie for fifth place at the DGM Barbados Open and has since added five more top ten finishes in 13 starts.
“I can’t help but feel another win is a little overdue,” said the man who has represented GB & I in no less than four PGA Cup matches against the United States.
“I’ve been playing well for quite a while but each week someone seems to edge up and creep past me.
“Hopefully this week it’s going to be my turn,” he added. “I will just go out and play the best I can and see what happens.”
Sallat once played professional football for both Bordeaux and Le Harve and he displayed considerable skill with a smaller ball after carding a 67 that included six birdies and a solitary bogey on the treacherous 421 yard par four opening hole.
The highlight of the round came at the last where he made the edge of the green with his approach and then holed out for an improbable birdie from all of 50 feet.
“That was a nice way to finish,” the Frenchman said in faltering English. “But I played well all the way round and am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Mashego and Lincoln both have a chance to claim the £22,500 first prize if the leaders were to falter and so too do Italy’s Guiseppe Cali England’s Tony Charnley who finished on three under par 141.
Bob Cameron, Bruce Heuchan, Brian Jones Gavan Levenson, D.J.Russell and Kevin Spurgeon share seventh place on 142 while one of the biggest moves of the day came from Australia’s Terry Gale who switched putters overnight and went on to card a five under par 67 that saw him tie America’s Bob Boyd on one under par 143.
The Australian raced to the turn in two under par 34 despite a double bogey at the 403 yard par four ninth and then added further birdies at the tenth, 11th, 14th and 15th before dropping a shot at the last where he failed to get up and down from just off the green.
“The new putter seemed to make all the difference,” said Gale who won the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in Switzerland two weeks ago. “I have only used two putters since the 1970s but this one felt good as soon as I picked it up.
“It was a good time to change because I figured I didn’t have much to lose after my opening 76 but now that I back in contention we will see how good it really is.”
It turned out to be another disappointing day for tournament favourite Sam Torrance who added a four over par 76 to his opening 73 to go into the final round a distant 14 shots behind the leaders on five over par 149.
The Scot reached the turn in one over par 37 but then dropped shots at the tenth and the 12th before three putting the last from 35 feet for his fifth bogey of the day.
“The last green just about summed up the round,” said the Scot who has won twice on this year’s European Seniors Tour at the Irvine Whitlock Seniors Classic in Jersey and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship at Carden Park.
“I holed nothing all day and it was much the same yesterday. You can’t compete at this level when you’re not getting the ball in the hole.”
England’s David Creamer and Malcolm Gregson share the lead in the race for the Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor aged 60 and over. Both recorded rounds of 73 to go into the last round two shots ahead of America’s David Oakley on one over par 145.