Carl Mason’s love affair with the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship continued on day two as the European Senior Tour’s most prolific winner signed for a second successive round of 68.
Mason, who had held the overnight lead alongside three others, edged ahead of the chasing pack on six under par at Close House, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Starting his second round on the tenth tee, Mason quickly made his first birdie of the day on the 11th and, despite a bogey at the next, he turned in one under 34 courtesy of another gain at the 17th.
Further birdies followed at the third, fourth and eighth holes and, despite dropping a shot at the tough ninth, the Englishman was understandably delighted with his day’s work.
Mason, who has won the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship on three occasions, said: “I’m very pleased with my performance, it was very solid again today. I hit the ball well and kept out of trouble which is the main thing here, as it’s fraught with danger. It’s playing very fast and getting even faster so you have got to be careful.
“I’ve driven it well off the tee, and that’s been the key. If you hit the ball well off the tee, that makes the game a lot easier. If you’re a bit wayward off the tee here, you can get out of position and in all sorts of trouble.
“It’s nice to have that feeling of being up there again. It’s what it’s all about, why we play the game. What will be will be over the weekend, but if I can keep playing and hitting the ball the way I have these first two days, I’m not going to be too far away.”
Fowler, who was also tied for the lead after the first round, picked up where he left off with three birdies in his first six holes to keep the pressure up on Mason.
The Australian, who is bidding for back-to-back victories after winning in Jersey last week, moved to six under par after birdies at the 11th, 14th and 15th holes. Fowler is yet to drop a shot in 25 holes and, should he continue his blemish-free run this afternoon, the four-time Senior Tour winner will almost certainly usurp Mason at the top of the leaderboard.
Jean Pierre Sallat added a level par round of 71 to his opening 68 to remain on three under, whilst the fourth member of the quartet of players who had shared the overnight lead, Englishman Gary Emerson, was one over par after six holes of his second round.
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