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Chris Hanson is aiming to become the first golfer in nearly six years to win back-to-back events on the EuroPro Tour.
Hanson, a winner at Bovey Castle last week, moved into contention on the second day of The Rustyâ€™s Travel Classic at Longhirst Hall in Northumberland.
He began the second day five shots behind overnight leader Graeme Clark (Doncaster) but an eagle at the third followed by birdies at the fourth and seventh saw Hanson (Woodsome Hall, Huddersfield) take a share of the lead.
Hanson joins three other players â€“ Lee Harper, Graeme Clark and Trevor Jones â€“ on -4 with one round left.
If Hanson was to finish first tomorrow then he would become the first player to win two successive EuroPro Tour events since Simon Robinson triumphed at Swallow, Suffolk and then at Morley Hayes, Derbyshire in July 2005.
Clark shot a score of 71 (+1) on the second day but ended strongly with birdies at the 17th and 18th to stay in the hunt for the Â£10,000 top prize.
Scotlandâ€™s Lee Harper (Archerfield Links, East Lothian) was an early clubhouse leader on the second day after an inconsistent round of 68 (-2) which included six birdies and four bogeys but took him to -4 for the tournament, and he was later joined on this total by Trevor Jones (Whipsnade Park, Hertfordshire).
James Busby (The Shropshire) produced one of the best rounds of the day with a score of 66 (-4) as he aims for his first Tour victory since August 2009.
Busby is currently on -3, the same score as Irelandâ€™s Tim Rice (Limerick) after he shot 69 (-1) today.
Graham Powell (Banstead Downs, Surrey) began Thursdayâ€™s play in second place but a double bogey at the 17th could come back to haunt him, although he is still in the top ten.
The top 50 players and ties have advanced to Friday’s final round, but, in tricky conditions, some big names failed to make it.
Dale Marmion, a runner-up last week at Burhill missed out at Longhirst Hall after a round of 83 (+13) on Thursday.
â€œWow,â€ said a stunned Marmion (Eaton, Cheshire). â€œNever have I hit the ball half decently and putted and scored so badly. I had some cricket scores out there.â€
Zane Scotland (Princes, Kent) began the second day in tied sixth but his hopes were dashed as he went round in 80 (+10) and missed the cut.