Trevor Foster is on the brink of making a dream come true after adding a level par second round 72 to his opening 63 and increase his overnight lead by a stroke in the 50th Seniors Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl.
"It would be an absolute dream to win this coming from a little club like Accrington," said the likeable Lancastrian, who has left an international field competing for scraps.
"When I started out this morning I would have taken two par rounds over the next two days and I've done the first part."
"I played well again today. Hit my irons superbly and my driver, kept it in play and kept hitting greens," said Foster. "The difference today from yesterday is that I didn't putt as well. I missed three putts at 10, 11 and 12 from within eight feet."
Foster opened his second round with a bogey, three putting from 25ft, but he soon got the shot back at the third when he holed out from 15ft after hitting a wedge in.
He got to 10-under-par at the long fifth when he hit driver, 3-wood and a chip to four feet out of a big grassy hollow right of the green. He got regulation pars at the next three holes then got up and down out of a bunker at the ninth to be out in 35.
The putts failed to drop over the next few holes before he dropped his only stroke at the 15th when he missed the green right with a 6-iron and failed to get up and down.
He hit a great 6-iron into 16 from an awkward stance to save par, holed from 10ft for par at the long 17th having struggled all the way to the green, then had a great two putts at the last from off the back left of the green.
Rowley on the move
American Michael Rowley moved up the leaderboard into a share of second with a best of the day four under par 68 to add to his opening 75.
The 56-year-old, playing in his first Seniors Amateur, bagged three birdies and dropped just one shot to be out in 34, then after seven pars in a row on the way home he eagled the 17th with a drive and a 5-iron to 10ft.
"I didn't get into any trouble and putted much better than yesterday," said the owner of golf merchandise company Straight Down from San Luis Obispo in California.
Alongside Rowley on 143 are Ken Gallacher a maths teacher from East Kilbride in Scotland and Gene Elliott from Des Moines, Iowa.
Gallacher, sharing second on two-under-par overnight, had moved to four-under when he hit his drive out of bounds on the 15th on his way to a double-bogey six.
He dropped another shot at the 16th, birdied the 17th and then three-putted the 18th from 30ft.
"I played well again apart from a couple of loose shots. And I left a couple of putts on the edge of the hole," said Gallacher.
Elliot drops back
Elliott, sharing second on two-under-par overnight, fell to two-over-par when he went to the turn in 40. Birdies at the 10th and 11th got him back on level par then in the last match out in the gathering gloom he stroked home a 25-footer on the final green to move to one under.
"We needed that," said his wife Delina, who was on the bag.
Three-time former champion Chip Lutz added a second 72 to be alone in fifth place on level par, two better than another former champion fellow American Brady Exber who was also round in 72 to add to his opening 74, while another three-time winner Paul Simson, also from the US, added a 72 his opening 76.
Five players are on 145, 10 behind Foster. Richard Latham from Woodhall Spa and four Americans Todd Hanley, who was sharing second overnight, Matthew Sughrue, Randy Haag and Bob Royak
Last year's champion Bryan Hughes from Hesketh in Lancashire came crashing down with a 78 following his first round 79.
Sixty-six players made the cut at 10-over-par.