Spain's Jose Rivero carded a sensational six under par 66 to storm into the lead after the second round of the Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open at Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club near Edinburgh.
The 52 year old from Madrid goes into the final round on eight under par 136 and with a three shot lead over Scotland’s Ross Drummond and South Africa’s Bobby Lincoln.
Meanwhile, overnight leader, Costantino Rocca from Italy, injured his hip while hitting his second shot on the 392-yard par-four 14th and did well to limp home in 73 to share fourth place with England’s Nick Job on four under par 140.
Rivero had recorded five birdies in an opening round of 70 and 24 hours later he started in a similar vein with birdies at the first, fourth, seventh and ninth to race to the turn in four under par 31.
The winner of last year’s DGM Barbados Open and FIRSTPLUS Wales Seniors Open also birdied the tenth and the 12th before cruising home with six straight pars.
“I played very well,” said the leader, “and managed to get up and down on the odd occasion when I missed a green. I like my chances if I can play this solid again tomorrow.”
Drummond is still searching for his maiden European Seniors Tour success but he has a great chance of landing it in his home country after adding a two under par 70 to his opening 69.
He went to the turn in one under 34 and then got to three under with birdies at the 14th and 16th before dropping a shot at the 183 yard par three 17th where he missed the green and failed to get up and down from sand.
“That was my one bad swing of the day,” said the man who won the Scottish PGA title four times and was twice a runner up in over 20 years on the European Tour.
“I’m playing nicely and now I have just got to convert my chances. That’s the secret because you cannot win at this level if you don’t hole your share of putts.”
Big hitting Lincoln won the Jersey Seniors Classic earlier this season and could make it a double after a four under par 69 left him tied with Drummond just three shots off the pace.
He opened brightly with birdies at the 139 yard par three fourth, the 401 yard par four sixth and the 472 yard par four ninth, and then dropped a shot on the 14th before using his considerable power to conjure another birdie out of the 535 yard par five 16th.
It was not such a good day for defending champion Sam Torrance who added a 73 to his opening 71 to go into the last round tied with Delroy Cambridge, Angel Fernandez, Doug Johnston and Emilio Rodriquez on level par 144.
For the second successive day the former Ryder Cup Captain made a misfortunate start with a double bogey on the 424 yard par four third but he recovered to play the next 15 holes in 14 pars and one birdie on the 433 yard par four 11th hole.
“It was just one of those days” said the Scot. “I hit 17 greens in regulation but just couldn’t buy a putt. It leaves me with a lot to do.”
European Seniors Tour Number One Carl Mason needs to win just £2,600 this week to surpass the Tour’s record for most money won in a single season, but he still has a bit to do after a five over par 77 left him in a share of 35th place on four over par 148.