Paul Broadhurst carded the only bogey-free round of the day at Oak Hill Country Club as he took a share of the lead after the second round of his defence of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
The Englishman, a two-time Senior Major Champion, ended Friday’s play tied at the top of the leaderboard with fellow Staysure Tour member Esteban Toledo, of Mexico, as the pair carded three under par rounds of 67.
“To be bogey-free around this course is absolutely delightful," said Broadhurst. "We were lucky; half the draw got it really easy because it’s never going to play that easy again. I’ve said all along that level par could win it, and if we get any sort of wind that might be the case.
“I can draw a lot from past experiences. Last year was a little bit different, because I didn’t take the lead until late on the Sunday – so I played my way through the field. It’s nice to lead a tournament whenever.
“There are two rounds to go. I’m not jumping the gun or looking ahead too much. I just want to play consistently like I have these last two days and keep the mistakes to a minimum.”
A two-time John Jacobs Trophy winner for topping the Staysure Tour Order of Merit in 2016 and 2018, Broadhurst has eight victories on both sides of the Atlantic since turning 50 in 2015. Toledo, 56-years-old, is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.
The pair are two strokes ahead of two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and overnight leader Scott Parel. Both Goosen and Parel lost ground on the formidable par-70 East Course at Oak Hill, carding rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.
“It’s a tough golf course," said Toledo. "I hit the ball pretty much on the fairway all day long. I made a lot of putts. The way I handled all the shots coming down the stretch, it was exciting for me. My caddie kept me relaxed a little bit and that made the difference. I usually get tense, but he kept me loose.
“A lot of things can happen over the next two days. I just have to go out there and do whatever I’ve got to do. I was thinking I I could shoot par that would be great, but then I started making birdies and I was relaxing and hearing people cheering for me – it was really exciting.”
The quartet are the only golfers in the field to finish their first two rounds under par as American’s Jerry Kelly and John Riegger share fifth place on level par.
Paul Lawrie, in his first year on the over-50s circuit, carded a two over par round of 72 to share seventh place on one over. The 1999 Open Champion is one stroke ahead of a fellow Claret Jug winner, as Darren Clarke, winner at Royal St Georges in 2011, shares 13th place on two over par.
“I haven’t played a lot of golf in the last 14 months," said Lawrie. "So to have an outside chance after two days I’m happy enough. But I’m a golfer, and I’m never happy – it’s not part of the deal.
“I was grinding it out on the last few holes, and that’s what I’ve been missing. You need to play competitively to be able to do that. I could have easy been three or four over there, so I’m pretty pleased.”
In total, 78 competitors made the cut, including 19 Staysure Tour members, which fell at nine over par.