Des Smyth and Philip Walton shot 72s to share 20th but Anders Forsbrand and Peter Fowler are locked at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final day of the Acorn Jersey Open,.
The links-loving pair carded matching second rounds of 68 at La Moye Golf Club to lead the Irish duo by seven shots with Ronan Rafferty (70) nine behind and Denis O'Sullivan (74) 10 back.
In-form Australian Fowler, who finished tied second in last week’s SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open, posted five birdies over the course where he made his debut on both The European Tour in 1983 and European Senior Tour in 2009, but he three-putted the last hole for his only bogey of the day, settling for a six under par total.
That was matched by Swede Forsbrand, the winner of the 2012 Scottish Senior Open over the links of Fairmont St Andrews, who carded one more birdie than Fowler, but bogeyed the closing hole on both nines in his four under par round of 68.
Fowler has mixed memories of his trips to La Moye, having injured his back at the venue on the eve of his maiden Senior Tour appearance six years ago, which subsequently kept him out of action for a year.
Despite that painful experience, La Moye remains a course which the 2011 Order of Merit winner is very fond of, and he is looking forward to trying to add to his three Senior Tour titles.
“It’s a great golf course and I love playing here,” he said. “We don’t get the chance to play that many links course and I’ve really enjoyed it here, and that’s my motivation for doing well,”
“It was pretty steady again today, nothing fantastic, but I kept it under control. I didn’t play that well last week, but I showed I can get it round, and I’ve just tried to keep it on the same vein.
“It’s been better so far this week. I like a running course. Last week ran a little bit, but this course suits me better.”
Like Fowler, Forsbrand is an aficionado of links golf, and he is targeting an improvement on the greens in his final round, as he chases a second Senior Tour win.
“I only missed two greens, but didn’t get too much out of the round,” he said. “It’s tough out there though and hard to hit it close. Anything around par is good here, so I’m happy with the first two rounds.
“It depends on the wind but this course is a bit harder than at Fairmont, where I won, because some of the greens can be tricky. Any wind makes it hard, so you need to move the ball and it requires good golf, but I love links courses.
“My long game is pretty solid, hitting 14 or 15 greens a day but getting nothing out of it. I just need to putt a bit better. It’s nice being in contention again, and hopefully tomorrow I can just hole a few more putts.”
Forsbrand and Fowler have a two shot cushion from English pair Andrew Sherborne and Mark Davis, who signed for rounds of 68 and 71 respectively, and joint first round leader André Bossert of Switzerland, who posted a level par 72.
Davis, who won last year’s SSE Scottish Senior Open for his maiden Senior Tour title, finished runner up to Sam Torrance in the Jersey Open on The European Tour 24 years ago, and he is hoping to go one better this time round.
“The last day in 1991 was so windy and I was leading with three holes to play, but I bogeyed the 18th and Sam went on to win,” he said. “It would be nice it was a better day tomorrow and I can be up there again. I won at Fairmont on a links course last year and this type of golf seems to suit my game.”
Jersey resident Ian Woosnam, the former World Number One and Masters Champion, lost ground with a two over par round of 74, and is now eight shots off the pace in a share of 25th position.
Complete second round scores from La Moye Golf Club (par 72)
138 A Forsbrand (Swe) 70 68, P Fowler (Aus) 70 68,
140 A Bossert (Sui) 68 72, M Davis (Eng) 69 71, A Sherborne (Eng) 72 68,
141 M Farry (Fra) 70 71, P Golding (Eng) 72 69, R Gibson (Can) 69 72,
142 M Mouland (Wal) 73 69, K Tarling (Can) 70 72,
143 J Quiros (Esp) 68 75, J Remesy (Fra) 71 72, T Thelen (USA) 75 68,
144 P Wesselingh (Eng) 73 71, S Luna (Esp) 75 69, M Mackenzie (Eng) 75 69, M James (Eng) 72 72, D Russell (Eng) 73 71,
145 M Harwood (Aus) 74 71, D Smyth (Irl) 73 72, G Brand Jnr (Sco) 73 72, J Harrison (Eng) 75 70, P Walton (Irl) 73 72, C Mason (Eng) 70 75,
146 R Rafferty (Nir) 76 70, B Lane (Eng) 70 76, I Woosnam (Wal) 72 74, R Drummond (Sco) 75 71, G Manson (Aut) 74 72,
147 D O'Sullivan (Irl) 73 74, P Way (Eng) 73 74, S Brown (Eng) 74 73, J Bruner (USA) 73 74, M Martin (Esp) 73 74, N Job (Eng) 74 73,
148 S Tinning (Den) 74 74, P Eales (Eng) 76 72, G Rusnak (USA) 75 73, B Longmuir (Sco) 74 74,
149 G Brand (Eng) 72 77, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 74 75, T Price (Aus) 78 71, W Grant (Eng) 77 72, J Berendt (Arg) 74 75, A Oldcorn (Sco) 76 73,
150 D Hospital (Esp) 76 74, P Mitchell (Eng) 76 74,
151 T Johnstone (Zim) 78 73, L Carbonetti (Arg) 75 76, C Williams (RSA) 78 73,
153 P Linhart (Esp) 75 78, T Elliott (Aus) 76 77,
156 P Harrison (Eng) 79 77,
157 M Deeley (Eng) 81 76, S Torrance (Sco) 78 79,
158 G Emerson (Eng) 80 78, N Ratcliffe (Aus) 79 79,
166 W Stephens (Eng) 88 78,
WD G Marks (Eng) 71 WD, B Cameron (Eng) 76 RT