Saturday, June 05, 2010

Gordon Brand junior goes six shots clear in Jersey Seniors

Former Ryder Cup player Gordon Brand junior will take a commanding six-stroke lead into the final round of the Matrix Jersey Classic after firing a superb six under par 66 at La Moye Golf Club.
The Scot is ideally placed to capture his maiden European Senior Tour title after carding an eagle and five birdies to add to his opening round 63, which was just one stroke off the course record he shot in 1986.
Brand Jnr began the day with a three stroke advantage and quickly hit his stride with a hat-trick of birdies starting on the second hole. His only bogey of the day followed on the fifth hole when fog swept over the links at La Moye and the 51 year old found the bushes.
A 50 minute delay while the mist cleared gave him a chance to mull over that mistake and he responded in the best possible fashion with an eagle three on the sixth hole before adding two more birdies on the 16th and 17th holes.
The eight-time European Tour winner finished on 15 under par 129, six strokes clear of Australian Graham Banister who posted a 67 – his lowest Senior Tour round.
“It was another good round even though I didn’t play quite as well as yesterday,” said Brand Jnr. “I started nice and solid with a nice birdie on the second, with a pitch and putt from the front edge.
“Then I knocked a lovely seven iron in on the third and holed from 18ft for birdie and on the fourth hole I missed the green to the right and chipped in, so I had a great start.
“We were then forced to play on five when there was fog and I hit a shot where I couldnt see where it went and it ended in the bushes. But that was my only blemish, apart from three putting when I had an eagle chance on the 11th.
“I hit back with an eagle after the restart and then tidied up with a couple more birdies on the back nine so it was another good day. It was nice and solid and I did the right things and the right time.”
Brand Jnr goes into the final round on the Channel Island trying to capture his first title since joining the Senior Tour having twice finished runner up.
On both occasions he lost in a play-off, including to his namesake Gordon J Brand on his debut in The De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship in 2008, but the two-time Ryder Cup player intends to play the deciding 18 holes in exactly the same manner he has tackled the first two rounds.
“I will approach tomorrow just the way I did today,” he said. “Simple as that. I have no formula for treating tomorrow any different. Six shots is a good lead though – you couldn’t ask for much more. Hopefully I will sleep tonight.
“I feel comfortable out there – I’m 15 under after two days so perhaps more than comfortable. I’ve got some history with this course after the four eagles and course record 62 in 1986 so it seems to sit well with me. It’s not changed too much since then.”
Leading the chasing pack will be Banister, who is looking for another cause to celebrate having married his partner Jill last week.
The 53 year old, who gained his European Senior Tour card at last November’s Qualifying School, posted seven birdies and two bogeys to move to nine under par for the tournament.
“I had 32 putts but I was near perfect from tee to green,” he said. “I’ve been working hard on my driving with my coach Josh Points in America who looks after a couple of PGA Tour players.
“He changed a couple of things and straightened my path as my driving was a little inside out. It is important to drive well on a course like this and I did that.”
Former PGA Championship winner Andrew Oldcorn, who finished tied eighth in last week’s US Senior PGA Championship, is a shot further back in a group of four players on eight under par after a 68. He is joined in a share of third by American Mike Cunning, Australia David Merriman and South African Bobby Lincoln.
Par 144 (2x72)
BRAND JNR, Gordon  63 66 - - 129
BANISTER, Graham  68 67 - - 135
CUNNING, Mike  69 67 - - 136
MERRIMAN, David 71 65 - - 136
LINCOLN, Bobby 68 68 - - 136
OLDCORN, Andrew  68 68 - - 136
SPURGEON, Kevin 66 71 - - 137
FOWLER, Peter 71 66 - - 137
BOYD, Bob 72 65 - - 137
CAMERON, Bob 70 68 - - 138
MASON, Carl  70 68 - - 138
JOHNSTONE, Tony 68 70 - - 138
FARRY, Marc 71 68 - - 139
FRANCO, Angel 71 68 - - 139
RYALL, George  69 70 - - 139
LONGMUIR, Bill  75 65 - - 140
DURNIAN, Denis 70 71 - - 141
HOSPITAL, Domingo  71 70 - - 141
RUANGKIT, Boonchu  69 72 - - 141
HARRISON, John  68 73 - - 141
RHODES, Jim  72 69 - - 141
DRUMMOND, Ross 72 69 - - 141
JOB, Nick 71 70 - - 141
SMYTH, Des 73 68 - - 141
CARBONETTI, Luis  72 69 - - 141
CHILLAS, John 71 71 - - 142
Selected other scores:
HORTON, Tommy  73 74 - - 147
MANN, Fraser 75 74 - - 149
MILLER, Mike 80 69 - - 149
GRAY, Martin 74 75 - - 149
RUSSELL, David J  76 73 - - 149



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