Andrew Oldcorn celebrated his wedding anniversary with a second round 66 to move into a share of the lead with Frankie Minoza at the Handa Cup Senior Masters in Japan.
Four birdies and two dropped shots took the Scot to eight under par 136 at Ohmurasaki Golf Club on the Senior Tour’s first visit to Japan. His six under par round and 36 hole total was matched by Minoza of the Philippines.
Double Major Champion and fellow Scot Sandy Lyle, Frenchman Marc Farry and Japan’s Satoshi Kigashi are tied on seven under par, one behind the leaders.
“It’s always nice to see your name at the top of the leaderboard, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Oldcorn, winner of the PGA Championship, European Tour’s flagship event in 2001.
“This course probably doesn’t suit me, it favours a bigger hitter,” he added. “But the big difference today was that I started to hole some puts. Last week in Australia my putting was poor but today I forgot about the mechanics of the stroke. It just worked today.
“I’ve been struggling with a head cold, and I’m pretty tired given the lack of sleep so that was a super human effort on my part. Generally though I’m delighted with my round, it’s a great way of celebrating my 11th wedding anniversary.”
Minoza made no mistakes in a flawless six birdie round to sit alongside Oldcorn after two rounds.
Lyle, runner-up last week in the Handa Australian Senior Open, added a 69 to his opening 68 to lie on seven under par 137. Farry, who also enjoyed a good week last week in taking fourth place in Perth, shot a one under par 71 while Higashi carded a 68.
Farry recovered from a double bogey on the second, where he hooked his tee shot, with a strong back nine and birdie on the last hole.
“I think the greens today were a lot quicker than yesterday, and certain pin positions were very tight in corners,” he said.
“On this sort of course, if the driving is perfect you can hit six or seven under, but if it isn’t good you’ll hit around par. Overall I’m very happy.”
Defending champion Ian Woosnam, no stranger to Japan, three putted the last to finish at five under par but lies only three strokes off the lead heading into the weekend. Barry Lane finished on the same mark after also suffering misfortune on the last when he hit his approach into the water.