Stanley carded a round of 70 on Saturday to move to 4-under-par 209 for the tournament, bringing him one shot clear of New Zealands famous lefthander Bob Charles (72) and David Oakley (72), and two ahead of Russell Weir (71) and John Morgan (72).
However, it is a Golden Bear who is garnishing lots of the attention, as Jack Nicklaus shot 70 on Saturday at Royal County Down to move to 1-under for the tournament, just three back of Stanley.
Overall, I played a pretty good round of golf, said Nicklaus, who is coming off a great showing at this year's U.S. Senior Open, and looking for his first win on European soil since the 1978 British Open at St. Andrews. I look forward to being in contention tomorrow.
While he may be pleased with the overall results, it might have been a bit closer for Jack.
Following an up-and-down round, Nicklaus carded a birdie at No. 12 to get to 2-under for the tournament, but then made a bogey at No. 17 and failed to record birdie at the finishing par-5 18th.
That finish hurt, he said. I was in a position to get close to the lead in the golf tournament but then dropped what I consider to be two shots over the last two holes.
Such was not the case for Stanley.
The 52-year-old winner of the recent De Vere PGA Seniors Championship, Stanley birdied two of his closing seven holes.
At the start of the season I set myself the target of winning either the PGA Seniors or this tournament, he stated. I have already done the first bit so this would be a bit of a bonus.
But theres still a long way to go, he added. This is a tough golf course and anything can happen over the closing 18 holes.
Proof of that theory might come from overnight leader John Bland.
Bland went to bed Friday night with sole possession of the lead, but enters Sundays round four back at level-par.
Following an opening birdie on the first holes, the South African made three bogies in a row from Nos. 5 through 7, and then added two doubles on his inward half for a fat 76.
Full-field scores from the Senior British Open