GARY Wolstenholme is in contention to win another PGA EuroPro Tour event â€“ only days before he turns 50.
Wolstenholme reaches the milestone on Saturday and is still playing wonderful golf after a glittering amateur career that saw him win more caps for England than any other golfer, play in the Walker Cup five times and receive an MBE for services to golf.
He did not turn professional until he was 48 and he won his first EuroPro Tour in event earlier this year when he triumphed at Stoke-by-Nayland, Essex in July.
Wolstenholme (Carus Green GC) is currently in the top 20 on the opening day of the latest event, The Skycaddie European Championships at the Hever Castle Golf Club in Kent.
Starting from hole ten, he birdied the tenth, bogeyed the 17th but further birdies at the first and ninth left him on two-under.
The three-day competition concludes on Thursday with Â£10,000 going to the winner and this could be one of Wolstenholmeâ€™s last events on the EuroPro Tour.
On Saturday he becomes eligible to compete on the European Seniors Tour alongside golfing legends including Bernhard Langer, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam.
Wolstenholme has already signed up to play his first Seniors event â€“ The Travis Perkins PLC Senior Masters at Woburn â€“ at the start of September and will be at their Q School in November.
The Skycaddie European Championships is the 11th competition of the PGA EuroPro Tour season with 2007 Order Of Merit Champion Graeme Clark (Doncaster) a clubhouse leader on day one.
Clarkâ€™s round of 68, four under par, included a passage of three birdies in four holes and gave him an early lead.
William Boniface and Will Roebuck both shot rounds of three-under, although Roebuck was left rueing a double bogey six at the par-four 13th.
There are only two more events before the end of season Tour Championships, which will be staged in Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus.
At the end of the Tour Championships the top six in the Order of Merit will advance to the Challenge Tour and be one stage away from playing alongside Europeâ€™s elite on the European Tour.
Ian Keenan (Royal Liverpool) is currently third in the money list but suffered a disappointing day as a triple bogey seven at the par-four 16th left him facing an uphill battle to make the cut.
James Busby, who finished second last week at De Vere Wychwood Park in Crewe, was another who struggled on day one with a score of two-over.
Zane Scotland defeated Busby by one shot in Crewe and made a bright start here with birdies at the first, fifth and sixth holes.
Justin Evans (Wentworth Club) was well-placed after an eagle on the par-five tenth, while Adam Chamberlain claimed four birdies in the first eight holes.
The second round begins at 7.30am tomorrow and at the end of Wednesdayâ€™s play the top 50 plus ties will advance to the final round on Thursday.