Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, Ryder Cup teammates, partners and fellow Captains, are both challenging for the US Senior Open title as the Senior Tour’s second major of the season heads into the weekend.
Montgomerie, who broke his Major duck with a brilliant US Senior PGA Championship victory in May, battled to remain at the top of the leaderboard on a tough second day at Oak Tree National in Edmond Oklahoma.
After a brilliant 65 gave Montgomerie the lead on day one, the eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner made two early slips with bogeys on the third and sixth to fall back into the pack. He clawed one shot back with a birdie on the par five seventh, a towering three wood finding the green and setting up a two putt birdie.
But it was not until he made two on the par three 17th, almost holing his tee shot, that parity for the round was restored and he regained pole position.
A second round 71 for a six under par 136 meant that Montgomerie kept his nose in front and he will be in the final group on Saturday as he chases his second Major title.
"It was a good effort, to be honest," admitted Montgomerie. "It's never easy leading. I was two over after six and got back it back to level for the day. It was a good effort. It was very easy to let that go today. I did well there today. The heat was okay. I wasn't suffering at all, so that stands in good stead for the next two days. I'm still leading. Delighted with my position and delighted with the comeback from the sixth hole to birdie seventh, and to birdie 17 was a good effort."
As to his chances of winning a second Major, he said: "If I can play anything under par tomorrow, I'll be there and thereabouts for Sunday, and that's what you want to do. You put yourself in the position Saturday evening."
Langer, who won the 2010 US Senior Open, had earlier taken the outright lead with birdies on the 12th and 14th after American Scott Dunlap had posted the target of five under par 137. Successive dropped shots, however, followed before he rallied with a birdie on the 17th, only to bogey the last for a 69 to lie two off the pace on four under alongside American Gene Sauers.
"The score was pretty decent, but the round was very up and down.," said Langer, who also won the Senior Open Championship in 2010. "My short game was good, really good. Made some good putts and good saves. Long game wasn't quite up to par. Missed a lot of fairways today, and then you're behind the 8-ball and trying to struggle and scramble."