Walton chasing maiden Seniors win

Philip Walton, pictured during the Etihad Airways PGA Sprint at Seapoint, has a chance to win on the European Senior Tour. Picture: Fran Caffrey www.golffile.ie Philip Walton shot one of just two sub-70 scores to go into the final round of the SSE Scottish Senior Open with a chance to end his European Senior Tour drought.

The 1995 Ryder Cup hero, who joined the senior ranks last year, has yet to register a Top-10 finish in 18 appearances on the over 50s circuit.

But the 51-year old Dubliner goes into the last day in a four-way tie of second place with Peter Mitchell, Santiago Luna and fellow Irishman Denis O’Sullivan, just a stroke behind Australian Peter Fowler on four under par.

Fowler fired a superb six under par 66 before the rain came down at Fairmont St Andrews to surge into the lead.

The 2011 European Senior Tour Order of Merit winner benefitted from a 7.20am tee time, finishing before the worst of the weather arrived on the Fife coastline, as he shot three strokes lower than anyone else in the field to move to five under par 139.

“I hit the ball well today,” said Fowler, who finished third in the SSE Scottish Senior Open in 2011 and sixth in 2010. “They moved a few tees up because of the weather and I was driving it well, so I had a lot of short irons in. When it rains up here and is cold the ball doesn’t go anywhere. The greens were perfect today though.”

Walton, who secured the winning point for Europe in the 1995 Ryder Cup, carded five birides in his round of 69, while compatriot O’Sullivan, who at the age of 65 is chasing his eighth Senior Tour title, signed for a level par 72 to stay on four under par.

O’Sullivan’s playing partner Luna, who is playing in his first season on the Senior Tour, admitted he struggled during the worst part of the weather, but he showed plenty of resolve to card a one under par 71.

“For a Spaniard, that was very tough,” he said “Normally in this weather, we stay at home. I’m really happy though because I played very steadily and made some putts. I kept my head on the course, when it was easy to lose it.

“For someone like Denis O’Sullivan, who I played with, it’s not so bad playing in this, but for me it is tough! It was difficult to know what clubs to use, so I’m pleased with my round.”

When Mitchell won the title five years ago he beat former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance by two shots, and Torrance is also in contention again after a level par 72 kept him three shots off the pace in a share of eighth place.

An 11-time Senior Tour winner, Torrance is hoping for one more victory before he turns 60 next Saturday.

“I’m not quite playing as well as I was when I was 50,” said Torrance. “I did yesterday though. I think there is another win in me. At least one more.”

Complete second round scores from the SSE Scottish Senior Open at Fairmont St Andrews (par 72)


139 P Fowler (Aus) 73 66,

140 P Mitchell (Eng) 70 70, D O’Sullivan (Irl) 68 72, P Walton (Irl) 71 69, S Luna (Esp) 69 71,

141 S Tinning (Den) 71 70, M Martin (Esp) 68 73,

142 S Torrance (Sco) 70 72, T Price (Aus) 71 71, R Gibson (Can) 72 70,

143 K Spurgeon (Eng) 69 74, N Job (Eng) 73 70, G Brand (Eng) 71 72, P Golding (Eng) 73 70, S Van Vuuren (RSA) 72 71, P Wesselingh (Eng) 71 72, B Longmuir (Sco) 70 73, S Brown (Eng) 71 72,

144 M James (Eng) 72 72, J Harrison (Eng) 71 73, A Franco (Par) 71 73, A Oldcorn (Sco) 72 72, M McLean (Eng) 71 73, G Ryall (Eng) 74 70, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 73 71,

145 A Forsbrand (Swe) 71 74, C Williams (RSA) 72 73, R Drummond (Sco) 73 72, G Norquist (USA) 75 70, M Cunning (USA) 73 72, A Fernandez (Chi) 72 73, B Cameron (Eng) 73 72, P Smith (Sco) 72 73, R Thompson (USA) 70 75, M Farry (Fra) 72 73,

146 P Eales (Eng) 74 72, J Spence (Eng) 68 78, J Bruner (USA) 73 73, D Smyth (Irl) 71 75, P Curry (Eng) 74 72, P Way (Eng) 73 73, I Woosnam (Wal) 74 72, G Manson (Aut) 68 78,

147 P Linhart (Esp) 71 76, B Lane (Eng) 73 74, L Carbonetti (Arg) 73 74, J Gould (Eng) 71 76, A Murray (Eng) 75 72,

148 D Hospital (Esp) 72 76, T Elliott (Aus) 74 74, H Buhrmann (RSA) 75 73,

149 W Grant (Eng) 73 76, G Ralph (Eng) 69 80, S Cipa (Eng) 71 78, T Thelen (USA) 75 74, E Darcy (Irl) 69 80,

150 M Belsham (Eng) 76 74, D Durnian (Eng) 75 75,

151 S McAllister (Sco) 74 77, S Bennett (Eng) 72 79, T Johnstone (Zim) 75 76,

152 G Brand Jnr (Sco) 74 78, A Sherborne (Eng) 79 73, J Quiros (Esp) 74 78, C Mason (Eng) 75 77,

153 J Laforce (Can) 73 80,

154 J Chillas (Sco) 76 78, J Carriles (Esp) 77 77,

155 M Piñero (Esp) 75 80, D Russell (Eng) 78 77,

159 N Ratcliffe (Aus) 77 82,

160 D James (Sco) 75 85,

** G Banister (Aus) 74 WD.