Rick Gibson will take a four shot lead into Sunday’s final round at the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open, as he attempts to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the picturesque Swiss Alps venue.
The 52 year old Canadian followed his scintillating opening round 63 with another impressive showing on Saturday; a four under par 66 maintaining his lead from second placed Ross Drummond.
Gibson calmed any lingering nerves following his first round exploits by chipping in at the first, before following that up with another birdie at the second.
“It’s been a while since I’ve shot 63,” said Gibson. “So it was always going to be difficult to follow it up with another good round, but I was able to do that.
“The greens are getting firmer so it’s getting a little trickier. They’ll be even firmer tomorrow so I just need to keep plugging along and setting myself up for some birdies.”
The last time he played at Bad Ragaz in 2012, Gibson carded three rounds in the 60s to finish in a tie for 11th and the venue is one he clearly feels comfortable on.
“I’m feeling good for tomorrow,” he continued, “although it’s been a long while since I led a tournament. I feel very comfortable here as it’s actually quite similar to playing in Canada.”
Although Drummond has been in contention plenty of times on the Senior Tour, the 57 year old is also looking for his first win.
The Scot was left to rue three bogeys in his second round 68, but feels his game is in a good place.
“I’ve played nicely so far and I’m delighted, so I want more of the same tomorrow,” said Drummond. “I want to manage my game as well as I have done so far, and cut out the silly mistakes.”
One shot back from Drummond and five off the runaway leader Gibson is a group of four players, including 2011 Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open winner Peter Fowler.
Luis Carbonetti is another tied for third heading into the final round thanks to a stunning best-of-the-day 62.
The Argentine got off to a flying start, with a holed sand wedge at the tenth from 90 yards leaving him eight under just through the turn.
“I’m delighted with how I played,” said Carbonetti. “The first nine holes were very, very good. I thought I was on for an amazing round, however, at 61 years old I think I started to tire a bit and made two bogeys coming home.”
The omens could be with Carbonetti, whose brother Horacio triumphed at Bad Ragaz in consecutive years back in 2003 and 2004.
Carbonetti, who is hoping a strong finish will help him qualify for the Senior Open Championship later this month, would love to continue the strong family tradition at Bad Ragaz on Sunday.
He said: “I’ve got so much experience round here and it’s beautiful. I know how the course and weather works round here, so we’ll see what happens.”