Jerry Bruner’s birdie at the 10th hole handed him the outright lead as the final group entered the home straight on the second day of the Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open de Portugal, near Lisbon.
The American shared the overnight lead with David J Russell after they both carded for seven under par opening rounds of 65 but Mike Cunning, Doug Johnson and Andrew Sherborne all emerged from the pack midway through the second round to put the pressure on the two European Senior Tour veterans.
Bruner, however, continued his fine form with birdies at the third and tenth and just one bogey at the par four fourth, where he had an eagle two on the opening day, to leave him one shot clear.
Cunning was close behind after four birdies had him four under through 12 holes and seven under for the tournament, one shot behind Bruner and tied second with compatriot Johnson, who consolidated his opening round of 67 with two birdies on the front nine.
Russell, meanwhile, fell two shots back after bogeys on the fifth and ninth holes left him two over, but a birdie at 10 kept his chances well and truly alive as he was one over through 10 holes and six under for the tournament.
Andrew Sherbourne has earlier raced into contention after a glorious start, which saw him card three birdies in the opening three holes, helping him to an eight under par round of 64 and he was just two shots off the lead as Bruner reached the 11th tee.
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