The opening round of the SSE Scottish Seniors Open was played out in conditions as calm as a Hindu cow. Round two, on the other hand, was as boisterous as a bull in a china shop.
Winds gusting up to 30mph over the exposed Torrance course at Fairmont St Andrews added a whole new layer of menace to proceedings as the numbers soared in comparison to Friday's low-scoring bonanza.
The average card rocketed from 71 in the first round to almost 77 in the second. "It was almost unplayable," said former Masters champion Ian Woosnam after chiseling out a spirited level-par 72 to end in a share of second place on a four-under aggregate of 140.
Cesar Monasterio started the day with a three-shot lead. By the end of it, he was still three ahead but his rounds couldn't have been more contrasting. A four-over 76 was 15 strokes more than the sparkling 61 he opened with but his seven-under aggregate of 137 kept him on top with 18 holes left. With the Met Office predicting more of the same today, though, it's not going to be easy to cling on.
Englishman Philip Golding refused to be blown off course. He harnessed the exacting elements to post a two-under 70 - the only sub-par round of the day - to hoist himself into a share of sixth with 142.
Golding claimed his maiden title on the European Senior Tour in torrid conditions in the Wales Senior Open at Porthcawl last season and the 52-year-old showed again that when the going gets tough, he gets going. "I said I needed the wind to get blowing if I was to get back into this and it did," said Golding. "It must have been a three-club wind but I enjoy that challenge. You have to fight the wind and it creates much more imagination in your shot-making."
Woosnam, meanwhile, picked up a shot on his final hole in an eventful round that started with a putt of 40 feet for birdie on the first, a raking 40-footer for par on the second and a 20-foot trundler on the third for another birdie.
"It was hard getting the ball on the green but it was even harder on the green," said Woosnam, who must have felt he was trying to control an angry snake as his putter wobbled wildly in the winds.
"You couldn't make a decent stroke. I have struggled with windy golf for a long time. I've gone back to how I used to play; opening the stance a bit more and putting the ball further back. It's paying off."
Mark Davis of England and Spain's Pedro Linhart joined Woosnam on the four-under mark, while Scotsman Gordon Brand Jnr, the former Ryder Cup player, eagled the 18th in a 73 that lifted him into a tie for sixth on a 142. Gordon Manson, the St Andrews exile who now has Austrian citizenship, also had a 73 for his 142 tally but Sam Torrance, making his first competitive appearance since last December, had to settle for a 77 and 148.
Elsewhere, Ewen Ferguson saw his brave bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the Boys' Amateur Championship since 1930 thwarted in the semi-finals at Prestwick yesterday. The Bearsden teenager, who won the Scottish Boys' matchplay and strokeplay crowns this season, lost at the 19th hole to Sweden's Oskar Bergqvist.