There was a "War of the Roses" unfolding at the Benahavis Senior Masters when the final group reached the turn as Gary Wolstenholme’s lead was being put under serious scrutiny by six of his English compatriots.
Indeed, all of the top seven names on the leaderboard at La Quinta Golf and Country Club, in the south of Spain, were perched beside England flags as Carl Mason, the winner here in 2009, climbed to second place thanks to birdies at the second, sixth, ninth and 10th holes which left him four under through 12 and five under for the tournament.
With Wolstenholme level par as he stepped on to the tenth tee and six under for the tournament, it was all to play for in Spain and Mark James and Andrew Sherbourne sat just two shots off the pace, with the former through nine holes and the latter through 15.
Sherbourne followed on from the good form that earned him the best finish of his rookie year, tied sixth, at the Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open de Portugal two weeks ago, as he gained shots on the second, sixth, ninth and 10th to move to tied third.
He was joined by former Ryder Cup Captain Mark James as he carded two birdies and one bogey on the way to a one under par front nine of 34.
Peter Mitchell was on fire on the the front nine and even eagled the par four seventh after a birdie at the second as he was three under through 15, tied fifth, having had a level par opening round of 71.
Barry Lane’s chances of closing the gap on Senior Tour Order of Merit leader Peter Fowler took a turn for the better as he was two under through 12 and three shots off the lead in tied fifth, alongside another Englishman, Bob Cameron.