Peter Senior has made a strong start to his Urangan Smash Repairs Fraser Coast Classic title defence but a last-start winner, fellow defending champ and a home-town hero are hot on his heels at Hervey Bay Golf Club.
Steady overnight round meant the players were greeted with a heavy and longer course than anticipated in Saturday’s first round and it was Senior’s class that shone through yet again, a round of 4-under 66 giving him a one-stroke advantage ahead of Sunday’s final round.
But the nearest challengers are many and varied.
Andre Stolz (67) is chasing a third straight victory after wins at Yeppoon and Bargara, Ben Jackson (67) is seeking to equal his feat of two years ago when he finished top alongside Senior and Mike Harwood while Chris Taylor will be the favourite among the locals given he works alongside brothers Gerry and Stephen at the Hervey Bay Golf Club and day/night driving range.
Twenty-eight years since he finished fourth behind Greg Norman at The Open at Royal St George’s, Senior was surprised that given the soft conditions he finished the day ahead of some of the longer hitters on the Legends Tour.
“I thought some of the bigger hitters may have had an advantage out here today as it played long with the wet conditions,” said Senior.
“I have played well here, have won previously and really enjoy the two or three days with the members and sponsors.”
Taylor’s performance to shoot 3-under was also something of a surprise given he is normally assisting in the running of the tournament, not contending in them.
“This is the first time I have played a Legends event at home,” said Taylor.
“I have organised the event with my brother Gerry over the years and played in a Pro-Am Series event here but not with the old boys so it was great to be able to finally play in the event.”
In a tie for fifth and only two shots from the lead is another trio consisting of Victorian pair Tony Collier and Lucien Tinkler and Queenslander Craig Warren.
The final round of the 2021 Urangan Smash Repairs Fraser Coast Classic will commence at 7am Sunday morning.