Darren Clarke stormed into the halfway lead at the Senior Open for the second year in a row as he hunts a maiden senior Major championship title at Gleneagles.
The Northern Irishman was eight under heading into the weekend 12 months ago and he reached that mark again after a 67 on day two over the King’s Course to establish a two-shot advantage over American Scott Parel.
There was then a group at five under with nine Major championships between them made up of four-time winner of this event Bernhard Langer, Irishman Pádraig Harrington, South Africans Ernie Els and David Frost, 2016 champion Paul Broadhurst, Canadian Stephen Ames and Americans Jerry Kelly and Kent Jones.
Els had two birdies and a single dropped shot in his 69, while Frost carded a 68.
Clarke was over par at the turn but came home in 32 and believes the key to staying in the upper echelons of the leaderboard is keeping the ball out of the rough.
“Around the front nine today, I was so-so,” he said. “My right foot slipped a couple of times but apart from that I played really nicely.
“I’m trying to hit a lot of fairways and give myself decent looks. All the way around the back nine I kept hitting nice shots and could have been a few better. But, you know, it’s the way it is.
“It gives you opportunity. If you keep it in the fairway around here you can score but if you start missing the fairways it’s going to be a struggle because you’re playing for fliers.
“But the fact is so far I’ve done a decent job to get them on the fairways.”
– Report from DP World Tour website