Ian Woosnam will have high hopes of landing an eastern European double after carding a second successive five under par 67 to move into a two shot lead over Scotland’s Bill Longmuir in the Pestovo Russian Seniors Open.
The former Ryder Cup Captain won his first European Seniors Tour title at the recent Parkridge Polish Seniors Open in Krakow and is now favourite to win for a second time after another superb round at the Pestovo Golf & Yacht Club near Moscow.
“It is remarkable how similar the two rounds have been,” said the Welshman who finished on ten under par 134. “Both days I’ve had six birdies and one bogey and both days I’ve felt as if I’ve played really well. I just hope I can keep it going tomorrow.”
Woosnam goes into the final round two shots ahead of Longmuir, who posted a 69 for 136, and three in front of another former Ryder Cup Captain, Sam Torrance, who charged through the field with a scintillating eight under par 64 to finish the day on seven under par 137.
One shot further back, the third first round leader, Jeff Hall, dropped back to fourth place on 138 after carding a one under par 71 while America’s Jerry Bruner, Paraguay’s Angel Franco and Australia’s David Merriman all shared fifth place on five under par 139.
Second placed Longmuir’s day started in disastrous fashion when he missed from a couple of feet at the first. However he regrouped well and birdied the second and seventh to go out in 34 and then carded three birdies and two bogeys coming home.
Torrance started the day in a tie for 28th place after an opening 73 but forced himself into contention with a round 64 which included nine birdies and just one dropped shot at the 14th where he drove into the left rough and then failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
The Scot holed a 12 footer for his first birdie of the day on the second and also birdied the fifth, seventh and eighth to go out in 32. He gained another shot when two putted from 20 feet on the par five tenth and also claimed three other birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th with putts ranging from six to 18 feet.
“It might sound strange but I probably hit the ball better yesterday,” said the Scot. “The difference was that today I got the putts. I didn’t hole everything but I certainly got my share.”
Seventy two year old former Open Champion Bob Charles beat his age for the seventh time on this season’s European Seniors Tour with a one under par 71. It moved him up into a share of 20th place on level par 144.