Santiago Luna and Peter T Wilson battled the elements on a difficult day for scoring and will take a share of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters lead into the final round.
The weather wreaked havoc on Day Two after heavy overnight rain continued into the morning forcing the suspension of tee times due to standing water on the course. The entire field eventually began the round under a 1:15 pm shotgun start following a monumental effort from the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club grounds crew to prepare the course for play.
The rain was only one element the players faced however, as frigid single-digit temperatures and steady winds halted the progress of nearly every competitor in the field.
In the end, only four golfers carded under par rounds, two of whom moved to the top of the leaderboard.
“It was a hard day, it was a different golf course today with a different wind,” Luna said. “It was wet, and it was cold, especially for someone from Spain, so I’m really happy.”
The Spaniard held sole possession of the lead and was piecing together the round of the day before two late blemishes dropped him back towards the field.
“I missed a few greens, but I was really good out of the bunkers,” he said. “I made a lot of up and downs from the sand, which was really good because it gave me a lot of confidence, and I was really good with the putter. I finished with two three-putts on nine and ten, but it’s okay, I’m really happy because it was a tough day — I’ll sign for that score on a day like this.”
Luna, who has won three times on the Staysure Tour, is eyeing his first trophy this year but knows well that the tournament is far from finished.
“Tomorrow is another day and it’s England,” he said. “The wind could be coming from another direction, and so it will probably play like a new golf course. Hopefully it’s going to be sunny — I prefer sunny — and we’ll see what happens. I think all of us are good players and we all have a chance to win and that’s the most important thing.”
For Wilson, who was the only player to break 70 on a brutal Moving Day, contending for the title tomorrow comes as somewhat of a surprise after battling his swing and nagging tightness in the lead up to yesterday’s first round.
“I struggled with the body at the start of the week, and finally loosened up after a few hot baths,” he said. “I went to see my coach in South Africa last week and things started to click and then I had a lesson with Barry Lane, who gave me a couple of tips and things have worked out pretty well, so hopefully they last tomorrow.”
The Englishman might be the most motivated player in the field as he chases his first win on the over-50s circuit, but there will be a hungry pack of professionals chasing him down.
Day One leader Markus Brier sits only one shot back on six under par, while Barry Lane, who won the 2004 British Masters at the Forest of Arden — and also may end up regretting the lesson he gave Wilson earlier this week — is positioned two strokes behind the leaders alongside World Golf Hall of Fame Member Ian Woosnam on four under par.
The final round of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters begins tomorrow at 8:30 am local time with the leaders Luna, Wilson and Brier set to go at 11:40 am.