Santiago Luna (Getty Images)
Santiago Luna has a third European Senior Tour title in his sights after firing a second round 67 to take a one shot lead at the European Tour Properties Senior Classic.
The Spaniard started the day just one stroke behind overnight leader Tim Thelen but hit the ground running with a birdie on the tenth hole. Two birdies followed before a bogey on the 18th hole, his ninth, saw him make the turn two under par.
For the second day in succession, play was suspended due to lightning, but upon resumption, Luna birdied the fourth, fifth and seventh holes to finish five under par on the day and nine under par for the tournament.
“Today was a really nice day,” said Luna. “I played very consistently and made a few putts, that’s the secret. It was difficult because the conditions were perfect at the start of the day, and then it really started to rain. It’s like the weather is playing with us.
“I’ve been really happy with the last two days. I feel good on this golf course and I’m putting well. I can see the lines out there and I know what I want to do. It’s important to feel good, but I need to play like I did today to win.
Luna will join Thelen, a five-time Senior Tour winner, in Friday’s final group at Linna Golf, a European Tour Properties Destination.
“Going into a tournament, you want to be in the final group on a Sunday” said Thelen. “I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday, but I’m happy with it. I’ve won five times on this Tour and I think I’ve come from behind to win twice. But golf is a fickle game and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.
“The downpour and changing conditions were tough, but everyone has to play the same golf course.”
Sharing third place are André Bossert and Miguel Angel Martin on seven under par. The pair enjoyed superb days in Finland as they carded rounds of 67 and 66 respectively.
Bossert, winner of the 2016 Travis Perkins Masters, was delighted to be in contention once again.
“This is a great course and I’m really enjoying it here,” said the Swiss. “I’m not hitting it particularly long at the moment, but I’m hitting it straight and that’s the best thing to do on golf courses like these.”
Clark Dennis and Peter Fowler sit in fifth place, three shots behind Luna after each carded rounds of 69 for a total of six under par.
In seventh place on four under par are former Ryder Cup player David Gilford, 25-time Senior Tour winner Carl Mason and three-time European Tour winner Peter O’Malley.