Ian Woosnam raised home hopes with an early charge but England's Paul Broadhurst shot the round of the day to lead the chase of South African Chris Williams in the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open.
Woosnam made the perfect start by firing birdies at the opening two holes and closed within one of Williams with his fifth birdie of the second round at the 10th hole. But just as his loyal following at Celtic Manor began to believe he might go one better than last year's runner-up finish, the 1991 Masters champion began to unravel.
He dropped shots at the 14th and 16th and then dunked his ball in the brook at the 17th to take double bogey. All his good work from earlier in the round had been undone and Woosnam (pictured below) finished the day back where he had started, at level par.
The disappointing finish leaves the popular Welshman further behind Chris Williams who added a two-under 68 to his opening 65 on Friday to reach seven under and maintain his lead of two strokes. The South African's model of consistency in his second round was punctuated by holing his second shot for an eagle on the treachorous 12th hole, his only deviation from par over the back nine.
His closest challenger is now England's Paul Broadhurst (main picture) who fired a five-under-par 65. Broadhurst could have narrowed the gap further had his five-footer on the penultimate hole not lipped out.
He said: "You're going to get that on these greens because they have such tricky slopes. A five-footer with a foot of break is tough to make. You are going to make some, and you are going to miss some.
"Overall I'm very pleased with the score because I knew I needed a low one today to stay in the hunt."
China's Lianwie Zang is one shot further back on four under and Andre Bossert and Malcolm McKenzie share fourth place on three under par.
Woosnam still heads the home challenge in joint 14th place but knows he will need to post a very low early score and pray for some help from the leaders to contend for his first Wales Senior Open title on Sunday.
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Pictures: Phil Inglis/Getty Images