Magnus P Atlevi carded the lowest round of the day, a seven under par 65, to put the pressure on 36 hole leader Clark Dennis at the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius.
The Swede started the day at Constance Belle Mare Plage on five under par, four strokes behind Dennis, and the pair traded blows on the front nine as they both carded five birdies. Dennis came home in 35, one under par, for a round of 66 and a 15 under par total, as Atlevi made two further gains on the back nine to reduce the deficit to just three shots.
Both players will go in search of their second victories of the 2018 season, with Dennis successfully defending his Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort title and Atlevi winning the European Tour Properties Senior Classic in September.
“Yesterday and the day before, my golf didn’t feel good at all,” said Atlevi. “But you have to get on with it. I didn’t start very well yesterday and I haven’t played well here in the past. I told myself I needed to be patient and, bit-by-bit, some birdies fell in and I finished five under par.
“Today I could feel my body was more prepared – I felt as though I had more speed. My goal for the week is to not take it too seriously, which I have done in the past. So tomorrow I need to go out there, be relaxed, and enjoy it, no matter what.
“I can’t believe I’m 12 under and I don’t feel as though I’ve tried – I have a lot to look forward to with the final round tomorrow and another tournament next week.”
Dennis, who is playing in just his second season on the Staysure Tour, will hope to add to his growing trophy cabinet, having already won three times on the European over-50s circuit. The American remains bogey-free after the first two rounds in Mauritius.
“I left a lot of shots out there today,” said Dennis. “I hit it so good on the front nine, hit it close and made some putts. I had some chances on the back nine but missed three or four putts for birdie from about five feet. You can’t complain when you’re 15 under, but it could have been a special day.
“It helped playing with Magnus again. You know you can’t just make pars on this course – it was good to see him start off well and I thought ‘if he’s going to go, I have to go too’.”
2002 Ryder Cup hero Phillip Price will join Dennis and Atlevi in tomorrow’s final group after matching Dennis’s round of 66 for an 11 under par total. Incredibly, the Welshman birdied seven holes on the back nine after making the turn one over par.
Paul McGinley, Ryder Cup Captain in 2014, is fourth on nine under par and double Senior Major Champion Roger Chapman sits in fifth on eight under par after successive rounds of 68. The 1996 Open Champion Tom Lehman is one of six golfers in a share of sixth place a stroke further back.
There is still all to play for on the final day as the top 29 players on the Order of Merit and three invitations will go on to the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles next week, the final event of the 2018 Staysure Tour season.
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