Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance continued to fight out a private battle for the right to be top of the European money list at the Lancome Trophy in Paris yesterday.
Torrance, who began the day one stroke behind Montgomerie, came in with a 67 to be eight-under-par and take a one-shot lead over Montgomerie, who shot a 69, into the third round.
A bogey at the short 18th was the only minus point for Torrance, who needs to win the pounds 100,000 first prize to move ahead of Montgomerie in the European Order of Merit.
Both Scots insist they are only thinking of this week, although Torrance probably has his fingers crossed when saying as much, for he has been chasing the European top spot for 24 years.
Torrance is pleased to be paired with Montgomerie today for the third successive day. "Monty is the man to beat, this week and every week," he says. "It's nice to be able to keep an eye on him."
New Zealander Michael Campbell is third on 134 after a 68, with the former British amateur champion, Iain Pyman, fourth on 133 after a 66 which included only 24 putts.
There was good news for the European Ryder Cup team, when Jose-Maria Olazabal limped round for a 67 to stand at two-under-par. Olazabal said afterwards that his foot was a little better and he may now leave his decision about whether to withdraw from the Cup team until Monday.
Ian Woosnam, hoping to take Olazabal's place if the Spaniard drops out of the team, is three shots further back, but only because of a disastrous seven at the 15th where he snap-hooked his drive into the trees.
Tom Lehman, the only American Ryder Cup team member in the field, is also showing good form. He shot a 70 for 137 and, five shots off the pace, still has an outside chance of victory.
The Frenchman Jean-Louis Guepy equalled the course record of 62 and Mark Roe, beset by domestic problems, shot a 16-over-par 86.Reuse content