Former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker will take a one stroke lead into the final day of the Senior Open Hauts de France by Jean van de Velde after a two under par second round at Arras Golf Resort.
The Englishman shared the first-round lead with Spain’s Miguel Angel Martín, and followed up yesterday’s six under par round with a second round of 70 to take the outright lead on eight under par.
Play was delayed mid-round by nearly two hours due to heavy rain in northern France, but Baker maintained his composure, playing his final ten holes one over par after reaching three under through seven holes.
“I played well today,” said Baker, who starred for Europe at The 1993 Ryder Cup. “There were a few mistakes, but you’d expect that in this weather, especially when stopping and starting. It was difficult during the delay and when the conditions were changing. It was really warm when the sun was out and tricky when it was wet and windy – some gusts of wind caught me out a couple of times, so it was a tough day.”
Should he win tomorrow, Baker would become the 11th player to secure victories on each of the European Tour, European Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour.
“I tee it up to win, like all the other guys on this Tour,” said Baker. “The main objective is to go out there and perform how I have these last two days and see where it gets me. What the other guys do is out of my control, so I’ll go and play hard and hopefully get a result.”
Baker will face stiff competition on the final day, with Staysure Tour rookie Dan Olsen just one shot behind after a bogey-free round of 69 on the testing layout in Arras. Spain’s Miguel Angel Martín is two strokes further back on five under par after a one over par round of 73.
“I didn’t have to scramble too much today,” said Olsen, who earned his playing rights at Qualifying School in February. “I’m not sure how many greens I missed either, which is really good for here. I have to be careful because I hit it long and really have to pick and choose where I let it go on this golf course. I have to play smart every day, hopefully make some birdies and finish strongly.
“This is a great tournament, especially considering it’s a new tournament on the schedule. It’s great to see some big names teeing it up here too, I like being around the great players on this Tour.”
Sharing fourth place are Austria’s Markus Brier and the English trio of two-time Senior Major Champion Roger Chapman, 2013 Staysure Tour Number One Paul Wesselingh and two-time Amateur Champion Gary Wolstenholme.
The final round of the Senior Open Hauts de France will start at 11:00am local time, and the final three hours will be broadcast live on Golf+ in France.