Brendan McGovern fired a near-flawless four-under-par round of 67 to move into a share of 6th spot heading into the final day of the European Tour Properties Senior Classic in Bulgaria.
The Headfort professional posted four-birdies in a bogey-free round of golf to move to five-under-par, five shots off the lead.
McGovern, whose best finish this season came last week in a tie for 14th at the Travis Perkins Masters, will be hoping to better that result tomorrow after a largely frustrating season to date.
At the top, Magnus P Atlevi will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour Properties Senior Classic after posting a second successive 66 to reach ten-under-par on Day Two at Lighthouse Golf and Spa Resort.
The 53-year-old picked up where he left off on Friday in Bulgaria by carding a four-under-par front nine to extend his lead at the summit. Three further birdies and a pair of bogeys arrived on the back nine as he signed for another five under par round, meaning the Swede will take a two-shot advantage over Peter Baker and Stephen Dodd into the final round.
Baker and Dodd also matched their opening rounds by carding four under par rounds of 67 to end Day Two on eight-under-par.
Englishman Baker did take an early lead on Saturday after posting two birdies in his first six holes, but once the Swede teed it up, he quickly clawed back the lead and Atlevi was pleased with how he started.
“I played even better than yesterday at the start,” he said. “I finished one over for the last six holes today but overall, it’s a good round.
“There was much less wind today, sometimes there was no wind. However, the wind direction did change so it made some holes much tougher compared to yesterday.
“I have a really good feel on the greens and it makes a big difference. I played really well early on today.”
Atlevi admits to being frustrated with his game over the last few months and revealed he has adopted an approach to make things simpler this week.
“I’ve improved on my one-shot lead but nothing’s finished until we play our 54 holes,” he said.
“That’s the mindset I’m trying to have – it’s just a pit-stop now and who’s in the lead doesn’t matter. It only matters when we’ve played 54 holes.
“I’ve been trying a little bit too hard this year. It’s been really frustrating because my game has been solid. I’ve come up with a slogan for this week: do less, achieve more. Let’s see if I can do that tomorrow.”
The biggest mover of the day was South African James Kingston, who signed for a superb six under par 65. Kingston’s bogey-free round ensures he will go into the final round on six under par, four shots off the lead.
A shot ahead of him is Mauricio Molina, who sits in sole fourth place on seven-under-par. Behind Kingston are Peter Fowler and McGovern on five-under, while Malcolm MacKenzie and André Bossert are a shot further back on four under.
The final round will begin at 8.30am on Sunday September 9, with Rafael Gomez, Carl Suneson and Gary Wolstenholme in the first group off the first tee. Leader Atlevi will begin his final round alongside Baker and Dodd at 9.58am.
Scores after Round Two:
132 M Atlevi (Swe) 66 66,
134 S Dodd (Wal) 67 67, P Baker (Eng) 67 67,
135 M Molina (Arg) 68 67,
136 J Kingston (RSA) 71 65,
137 B McGovern (Irl) 70 67, P Fowler (Aus) 69 68,
138 A Bossert (Sui) 69 69, M Mackenzie (Eng) 70 68,
139 D Shacklady (Eng) 71 68, S Tinning (Den) 71 68, J Lomas (Eng) 70 69, P Streeter (Eng) 71 68,
140 I Woosnam (Wal) 71 69, J Sandelin (Swe) 74 66, S Luna (Esp) 71 69, P Scott (Eng) 70 70, G Marks (Eng) 68 72,
141 S Bennett (Eng) 68 73, M Farry (Fra) 72 69, K Tarling (Can) 70 71, J Quiros (Esp) 74 67, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 72 69, J Coceres (Arg) 73 68, G Manson (Aut) 70 71, C Suneson (Esp) 70 71,
142 J Carriles (Esp) 70 72, M Mamat (Sin) 73 69, M Martin (Esp) 75 67, B Longmuir (Sco) 73 69, R Gomez (Arg) 70 72,
143 T Thelen (USA) 73 70, L Carbonetti (Arg) 73 70, D Westermark (Swe) 70 73, M Harwood (Aus) 72 71, P Golding (Eng) 73 70,
144 C Williams (RSA) 73 71, C Monasterio (Arg) 73 71, P Wesselingh (Eng) 72 72,
145 S Richardson (Eng) 75 70, M Wharton (Eng) 68 77, D Russell (Eng) 72 73, M McLean (Eng) 74 71,
146 M Davis (Eng) 75 71, P Walton (Irl) 76 70, P Wilson (Eng) 75 71, S Brown (Eng) 75 71, J Cheetham (Eng) 73 73,
147 M Mouland (Wal) 74 73,
149 A Sherborne (Eng) 74 75,
150 A George (Eng) 76 74, J Sallat (Fra) 77 73,
154 N Job (Eng) 78 76, G Emerson (Eng) 74 80,