Despite dropping four shots on his last two holes, Scotland’s Ross Drummond is still the joint leader of The De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship alongside Spain’s Juan Quiros, who shot the lowest round of the day.
After some sumptuous strokeplay Drummond, who started on the tenth, had looked to be establishing a healthy advantage, only to come unstuck with a triple bogey at the eighth hole and a bogey at the ninth.
But despite the blip, Drummond’s round of 73 means he still leads the way with Quiros on level par. The Scot said: “I didn’t put a foot wrong until the last two holes. Apart from those, I was three under for the round.
“It was just one bad tee shot at eight, which is a really tough hole. It was into the wind and I tried to hit a three wood, hooked it a little bit and ran out of fairway. It went into bushes and was unplayable so I took a drop, hacked it back on to the fairway, came up short, pitched on to the green and two putted. It was an easy seven!
“I then hit a good tee shot on nine, but pulled my approach to the left of green. I hit a lovely chip to the left of hole, but had a really fast downhill putt and just dribbled it. Overall I’m delighted with way I played, just disappointed with how I finished.”
In damp conditions underfoot at De Vere Slaley Hall, Quiros was one of only two men to break par with a battling round of 71.
The diminutive Spaniard admitted his round had been slightly fortuitous, saying: “I’m very happy. Every time I shoot under par I’m happy, especially today with the course playing so difficult. I think I played better yesterday than today, but this morning I was lucky on a few holes and holed a few good putts – that was the difference. Conditions are wet which means many holes are playing longer, so you have to be careful if you miss the fairway because you can end up losing your ball.”
The pair are three shots clear of a trio of players: England’s Nick Job, the only other man to break par; joint overnight leader Giuseppe Cali of Italy; and Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan, who shot a 74.
Earlier in the day, Scotland’s Bill Longmuir had looked to be making a charge with three birdies on his outward nine, only for his round to unravel with five dropped shots on the home stretch.
His compatriot Sam Torrance is three shots further back on seven over par, but the Scot is still confident he can pull off an unlikely victory.
Torrance said: “Have I got a chance of winning from here? Absolutely. I may need a couple of 68s, but anything’s possible. What gives me a bit more confidence is that I started sinking some putts over the last few holes. I changed my putting style to get the top of the broom handle a bit lower, and it seemed to work.”
In contrast, Wales’ Ian Woosnam ruled out his chances of adding to his two Seniors Tour titles after a round of 76 saw him fall back to 11 over par.
He said: “I probably can’t win the tournament from this position. “The object of exercise for me now is to try to get things going on Saturday, then hopefully on Sunday I can climb up the field, pick up some Order of Merit points and give the crowd some good golf to watch.”
|T1||BRAND JNR, Gordon||SCO||18||4|
|T1||BRAND, Gordon J||ENG||18||4|