Colin Montgomerie opened up a commanding lead after the second round of the MCB Tour Championship thanks to a course record-equalling round of 64 which included a hole in one on the 17th.
Montgomerie had trailed overnight leader David Frost by three shots after the opening day’s play at Constance Belle Mare Plage but he seized the initiative with a dominant display on day two, with the undoubted highlight his pitch perfect eight iron from 164 yards on the penultimate hole.
That ace, allied to five birdies in a flawless performance, moved Montgomerie to 12 under par, four shots clear of Frost and his fellow South African Chris Williams.
Victory on the final day in Mauritius would set the seal on another sensational season for Montgomerie, who is yet to finish outside the top three in four appearances on the European Senior Tour this term.
He said: “When you drive the ball well on this course and keep it in play from the tee, you’re likely to have a good day out there – especially as my iron play is my strength. I think I hit 16 greens out of 18 today and managed to take a few birdie chances, then of course the 17th was a bit of a bonus.
“Normally I hit my eight iron 158 yards, so I was on the limit but the wind was helping us slightly. I struck it very nicely, then it got a kindly bounce and started tracking towards the hole, so at that point I started getting a little excited.
“You always hope it’s going to drop in but of course it rarely does, so it was very nice to see it disappear from view.
“That finish sets me up very nicely for tomorrow, I’ve given myself every chance of finishing the season on a high note and that’s what we’ll try to do. But it won’t be easy, we all know from past experience David is a great competitor and he loves it round here, so I’ll have to play very well to win.”
Despite a stiffening breeze, Frost had again looked in control of his game until the 15th hole, where his tee shot found the water. The resulting double bogey undid some of his good work on the front nine, which he covered in 34.
A back nine of 37 for a round of 71 and an eight under par aggregate total is not terminal to his hopes of securing a third victory in the €420,000 tournament, but the 56 year old knows he will need to be at the very top of his game on the final day if he is to catch Montgomerie.