Trevor Foster will take a one shot lead into Friday’s final round of the English Senior Men’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
The England international followed up an opening round of 69 at Ashridge with a level par round of 71 at Berkhamsted to remain on three-under par.
The Pleasington golfer is in good form with his second round a measure of consistency – two bogeys, two birdies and 14 pars from a player demonstrating steady golf on a course that can prove treacherous for anyone straying slightly off line.
However, the pretenders to Foster’s throne are lurking with intent ahead of a potentially thrilling last 18 at Ashridge in Hertfordshire.
Torquay’s Peter Bicknell is Foster’s closest rival after he posted an excellent three-under par round at Berkhamsted to go with his 73 on day one at Ashridge.
Bicknell bagged six birdies during his round and but for a double bogey on the par three, 14th hole, his chances of victory would have been even greater.
A major threat to both men in the final day shootout is former Amateur champion Warren Bladon.
The Kenilworth golfer was third in this event last year and came into the 2022 edition a little under-cooked.
Ahead of his first round at Berkhamsted on Wednesday he hadn’t picked up a club for a fortnight.
Today, Bladon (pictured above) played Ashridge for the very first time.
Yet the talented golfer from Warwickshire still knocked it round in three-under par to get himself to even for the championship and just three adrift of the leader.
After a rollercoaster round, Bladon admitted: “I started off solidly with a couple of birdies. I hadn’t played the course before or bought a yardage chart so was just playing it visually.
“I haven’t played much…I played at Berkhamsted yesterday which was the first time in two weeks.
“Unfortunately, I had a 7.20 tee-time so I had to leave the house at 4.30 which wasn’t the best.
“After yesterday’s score (+3) I just wanted to get to level par which I have done, so I’m not out of it, but I could have been more in it.
“On Friday, I think I’ll try and hit the driver as far as I can on most of the holes.
“I know some of the boys hit it a long way but I’m going to attack it tomorrow.
“If it comes off? Good. If it doesn’t? We’ll see what happens.”
Andrew Smith (pictured above) is another who might fancy his chances of a late charge on the final day.
The Royal Ashdown Forest golfer started his second round at Berkhamsted in the perfect way – with a hole-in-one!
Smith, runner-up in the English Senior Men’s Amateur at The Leicestershire last month, holed a 4-iron from 192 yards and used it as the springboard for a one-under par round of 70.
That leaves him just four off the lead on +1 alongside Sleaford’s Kevin Blow and Woodhall Spa’s Paul Wharton in a tie for fourth spot.
Cleethorpes’ Darren Fuller also had a shot to remember – he nailed his second shot at the par five, second hole at Ashridge for a rare albatross.
Fuller (on +8) was one of 86 players who made the cut which came at +9.
Photography credit: Leaderboard