AUSTRALIA’S Peter Fowler is just two shots off the pace after carding a superb 4-under 68 in the second round of the 2011 Senior British Open at the Walton Heath Golf Club.
Fowler sits at five-under behind joint leaders Mark Calcavecchia (US, 69), his compatriot Lee Rinker (67) and Canadian Rod Spittle (67).
Fowler, who has two recent wins on the European Senior Tour and is second on the Order of Merit, is in fourth place.
“My body’s feeling much better than it has for a while, and I think that’s showing in my results,” the lanky Australian said.
“I had a few surgeries a couple of years ago on my back, so I did a lot of rehab, and I’m still doing it. The body feels good, and I think it’s helping my golf swing, because I’ve got to pay special attention to make sure that my body doesn’t move around too much.
“I played pretty well today. I started to loosen up a little more today than yesterday. I knew that if I drove the ball well, I wouldn’t get into too much trouble. And that’s what happened, so I was pretty happy.”
Calcavecchia’s is bidding to become only the fourth player to claim a British Open Championship-Senior Open Championship double. He would join Gary Player, Tom Watson and New Zealand’s Bob Charles in a very exclusive club.
“I don’t see why not, but there’s a long way to go. Like I said, I kind of held it together. I got a little sloppy on the back nine, but I’ll try to be more aware of it tomorrow,” said the American.
Watson, meanwhile, shot a superb round of 68 to rectify some of the damage done by his disappointing opening effort of 75.
He still believes he is in with a chance of victory on one under par, having hit 17 greens in regulation on Friday.
“I kept the ball in play and drove the ball beautifully. I wasn’t in any of the heather and any of the bunkers, so that’s your main aim here at Walton Heath,” said Watson.
“This heathland golf course is very exacting off the tee – if you make a few mistakes here, you’ll make some bogeys or worse.
“The putter is going to have to work this weekend for me to have a chance to win. I’m one under par for the tournament, so it looks like I’m going to have to make up some ground and the only way to do it is with your putter.”
Joint overnight leader Mike Harwood posted a disappointing 74 but at 2-under is still in the hunt.
Peter Senior reversed his poor first round 74 with a sparkling 69 to be in the red at 1-under.2011 Senior British Open Leaderboard