Magnus P Atlevi and Phillip Price are set for a final day battle at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club as they share the lead on nine under par following day two of The Sinclair Invitational.
Atlevi posted a five under par round of 67 and joined Price at the top of the leaderboard thanks to a birdie on the 18th hole, after the Welshman had carded a bogey-free 68 to set the pace earlier in the day.
It is unlikely to be a two-horse race on the final day, however, with Price’s countryman Stephen Dodd and English duo Gary Evans and Paul Streeter just a shot behind on eight under par.
Sweden’s Atlevi started with an eagle on the par four first and ended with a birdie to cap off a three under par back nine and he feels like he is now in his groove, after a tough start to the season.
“I’m slowly getting better,” he said. “I had a terrible start this year. The long break in the winter is not my cup of tea, I just needed to play. I’m finally getting into the groove and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.
“My iron shots and putting were very pleasing. It hasn’t been my strong part but now I seem to be getting it back. It’s been a slow start for me this year but now I’m playing steady, so we’ll see what we can do.”
The 54-year-old, who won the European Tour Properties Senior Classic at Lighthouse Golf and Spa Resort in 2018, signed off with a well-crafted birdie on the final hole and, speaking post-round, he offered an insight into his approach to the final stretch.
“The final hole was downwind so I thought I should take a bit off and not hit it too long because the pin is short and you want to be able to get some backspin on your second shot,” he said.
“I just hit a nice soft drive and you know what happens – when you try and hit a nice soft drive, they just come out beautiful and just as far as your normal drive.
“I had 79 yards left and I hit a 60-degree wedge and I was lucky that it hit the slope and came back nicely to the pin. It was a great finish.”
The Swede will tomorrow go in search of his third Staysure Tour title and having reached nine under par after two rounds, he will stick to his game plan in the English countryside.
“Every week my game plan is to shoot a two under par front nine, which is like par for me, then a two under par back nine, which again, is basically par for me,” he said.
“If I do that every day for three days, I end up 12 under par and I would take that every week! It’s another story if I do it, but so far this week, that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
Atlevi’s five under par 67 was the joint low round of the day with Denmark’s Steen Tinning as he navigated his way into the red numbers to reach four under par and go into the final day five off the lead, two shots behind Austria’s Markus Brier and three behind Bob May, who occupy seven and sixth place, respectively.
The final round of The Sinclair Invitational will begin at 9.00am local time, with the final pairing of Atlevi and Price teeing off at 11.00am.