Defending champion Sam Torrance showed all the class that made him the 2005 European Seniors Tour’s Number One player by moving into a two stroke lead at the PGA Seniors Championship at The Stoke By Nayland Golf Club
The former Ryder Cup Captain added a six under par 66 to his opening 65 to move two strokes clear from Italy’s Giuseppe Cali, with Ireland’s Eamonn Darcy and Scotland’s Bill Longmuir a further shot back in third place on ten under par.
First round leader John Chillas of Scotland slipped up with a two over 74, but Torrance was in irresistible form, dropping only one stroke, and cruising home with a back nine of 31 which included five birdies in six holes from the 12th.
“I didn’t hole much on the front nine”, he said, “but I kept it together well. And I didn’t let the 18th get me the way it did yesterday – but it nearly did!”
Torrance had bogeyed the difficult final home in an otherwise flawless first round, but he extinguished that memory by holing an excellent par put from eight feet at the end of his second round, and thus cemented his two stroke advantage going into the final 36 holes.
Cali, who already has one tournament win in England to his name this year following his victory at the Bendinat London Seniors Masters, matched Torrance’s second round 66 with a brilliant six iron to nine feet at the 18th, which he finished off in style to end the day with a birdie two.
Longmuir, who won this event in 2003 and partnered Torrance for the opening two rounds, was also in inspired form, carding six birdies before his only bogey of the day on the 18th.
Darcy, meanwhile, hauled his way up the leaderboard with the best round of the day, a as seven under par 65 to join Longmuir in third place
“Yesterday I let it slip on the back nine”, said the former Ryder Cup hero. “Today I tried to let it slip on the back nine but just managed to hang on.”
Chillas’s overnight lead frittered away, largely at the 10th, the par-four signature hole where the players have to hit twice over the same lake. The Scot put his second shot into the water, and his next spun back off the green down a slope, and he finished marking up a double bogey six.