There was no good news for Ireland’s contenders as the Emerald challenge faded on day two of the Scottish Senior Open at Craigielaw Golf Club.
Des Smyth is the pick of the litter after returning an even par 71 for a two-over total that puts him in a distant share of 24th ahead of the final round.
Eamonn Darcy’s title charged proved brief as he slumped to a five-over-par round of 76 to fall into a share of 34th spot at plus four alongside Headfort’s Brendan McGovern who returned a second successive 73.
While Ronan Rafferty (+7) and Phillip Walton (+8) complete the Irish line-up.
Gary Orr is in pole position to capture his first Staysure Tour title as he prepares to take a three-stroke lead into the final round at Craigielaw Golf Club.
The Scotsman, from Helensburgh, started the day two strokes behind overnight leader Stephen Dodd but carded a scintillating six under par round of 65 on the East Lothian coast. He is bidding to become the first home winner of the Scottish Senior Open since Sam Torrance in 2006.
He birdied two of his first four holes and then made a further gain on the ninth hole to make the turn three under par. Consecutive birdies followed on the 13thand 14thholes before tapping in for his sixth of the day on the 18thto move two strokes clear of David Shacklady.
“I was delighted with my birdie on 18 today,” said Orr. “It was nice to finish with another on the last. I putted well. There were a few loose shots, but I made a lot of great recovery shots to keep my score ticking over.
“I missed a couple of par threes, so I made a couple of good up and downs. The conditions were a lot better today; it was much more scoreable and there were a lot of birdies out there if you made the right shots.
“It’ll be a difficult day tomorrow. It’s nice being in position but you can’t take anything for granted in this game. I still have to shoot a solid round but, if it is bad, it will take a lot for someone to go low and come out of nowhere.”
Shacklady, who started his day on the back nine, made the turn in level par before an eagle on the par five second saw him move to six under par. He parred the remaining seven holes to sign for a second round of 69.
One stroke behind Shacklady is fellow 2018 Qualifying School graduate Paul Streeter. The two Englishmen have also tasted victory on the European over-50s circuit this season with Shacklady winning the VTB Russian Open Golf Championship and Streeter triumphing at the Travis Perkins Masters earlier this month.
“It was totally different to yesterday,” said Streeter. “It was a lot more playable for me and it was nice to finish with a two-putt birdie. I putted well from long range today.
“I kept it in play and hit some good iron shots, I wasn’t in much trouble, so it was a stress-free round.”
Joining Streeter in a share of third place is Welshman Stephen Dodd who carded a level par round of 71. In fifth place is Switzerland’s André Bossert on four-under-par while eight golfers, including 2006 Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam, are sixth on two-under-par.