Despite needing 15 more shots than in his record-equalling 61 on Friday, Argentinian rookie Monasterio (76) retained his three-shot lead on seven under par with 18 holes to come at Fairmont St Andrews following a day dominated by a stiff breeze on the east coast of Scotland.
Woosnam (72), Spaniard Pedro Linhart (72) and English rookie Mark Davis (74) are Monasterio’s nearest challengers, forming a three-way tie for second place on four under par heading into Sunday.
With winds gusting upwards of 20 miles per hour for most of the day, conditions were the polar opposite of those seen in the first round, when an almost flat calm led to some excellent scores – not least from Monasterio, who equalled the lowest round in Senior Tour history with his 11 under par 61 on Friday.
While 40 players were under par overnight, just 18 remained there at close of play with the field scoring average soaring from just above 71 on Friday to almost 77 in round two, while there was just one sub-par round completed on Saturday.
Former Masters Tournament Champion Woosnam seemed to relish the conditions, though, holing putts of 40 feet at the first and second holes for an opening birdie and par, while a 20-foot effort at the third brought a second gain of the day.
The 56 year old former World Number One went on to mix five bogeys and three further birdies – including a four at the last – to move within sight of Monasterio.
“It was hard getting it on the green and even harder once you were on it,” said Woosnam, who is chasing a first Senior Tour victory since the Berenberg Masters in 2011.
“Anything from a foot out is difficult because it’s so tricky making a decent stroke in this wind. But I holed some good putts and level par was just about right and a decent score in these conditions.
“I have struggled with windy golf for a long time but decided to go back to basics. I opened my stance a bit more and put the ball further back. It’s how I used to play and it seems to be paying off.”
Phillip Golding was the solitary player to card an under par round in the testing conditions on Saturday as a brilliant 70 propelled the Englishman 35 places up the leaderboard into a seven-way tie for sixth on two under par.
Golding, who revelled in similarly inclement weather to claim his maiden Senior Tour triumph at the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl last year, found four birdies and dropped just two shots all day, getting up and down on a number of occasions to stride into contention in Scotland.
“I enjoy playing in tough conditions,” said the 52 year old. “For me it gives you a bit more clarity. You have to play with the wind, keep it low, it demands a lot more imagination – as all links golf does.
“While it doesn’t perhaps have the fast-running fairways like somewhere such as Royal Porthcawl does, as a modern links course it is still designed to be played in the wind, it comes into its element when it blows.”
Monasterio, meanwhile, made a double bogey at the eighth and a further four bogeys before a closing birdie at the 18th ensured the 50 year old maintains an excellent chance of securing a maiden title in just his fourth start on the Senior Tour.
“It was completely different,” he reflected. “It makes everything difficult the wind – the driving, the irons, the putting, and I will have to concentrate and use my brain tomorrow to try to win!”
With more strong winds forecast for Sunday, the final round will be played in threeballs from the first and tenth tees, with starting times set for between 0800 and 1000.
SECOND ROUND SCORES
137 C Monasterio (Arg) 61 76,
140 I Woosnam (Wal) 68 72, P Linhart (Esp) 68 72, M Davis (Eng) 66 74,
141 T Thelen (USA) 66 75,
142 G Rusnak (USA) 67 75, P Golding (Eng) 72 70, K Tomori (Jpn) 64 78, S Brown (Eng) 70 72, G Brand Jnr (Sco) 69 73, G Manson (Aut) 69 73, J Smith (USA) 66 76,
143 D Russell (Eng) 70 73, G Ryall (Eng) 65 78, M James (Eng) 70 73, D Smyth (Irl) 70 73, J Spence (Eng) 70 73, C Mason (Eng) 69 74,
144 J Remesy (Fra) 68 76, J Sallat (Fra) 72 72, P Wesselingh (Eng) 70 74,
145 B Cameron (Eng) 71 74,
146 B Lane (Eng) 69 77, B Conser (USA) 70 76, M Farry (Fra) 72 74, S Tinning (Den) 68 78, M Harwood (Aus) 69 77, P Curry (Eng) 71 75,
147 M Martin (Esp) 72 75, P Walton (Irl) 72 75, P Eales (Eng) 70 77, S Cipa (Eng) 71 76, A Franco (Par) 71 76, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 71 76,
148 M Cunning (USA) 74 74, P Fowler (Aus) 72 76, A Oldcorn (Sco) 70 78, A Sherborne (Eng) 70 78, S Torrance (Sco) 71 77, N Job (Eng) 71 77,
149 M Bianco (Ita) 72 77, R Drummond (Sco) 69 80, R Gibson (Can) 67 82, K Hutton (Sco) 74 75, R Rafferty (Nir) 72 77,
150 A Bossert (Sui) 73 77, L Carbonetti (Arg) 73 77, T Price (Aus) 74 76, K Spurgeon (Eng) 69 81, W Grant (Eng) 74 76,
151 S Luna (Esp) 74 77, S McAllister (Sco) 73 78, G Emerson (Eng) 76 75, M Mouland (Wal) 71 80, B Longmuir (Sco) 73 78,
152 A Murray (Eng) 71 81, J Carriles (Esp) 73 79,
153 D O’Sullivan (Irl) 75 78, M McLean (Eng) 74 79, T Johnstone (Zim) 71 82, J Gould (Eng) 72 81, P Jonas (Can) 75 78, C Williams (Eng) 71 82,
154 J Bruner (USA) 75 79,
155 V Garcia (Esp) 76 79, G Brand (Eng) 77 78, N Ratcliffe (Aus) 78 77, M Mackenzie (Eng) 74 81,
157 D Durnian (Eng) 73 84,
159 A Garrido (Esp) 79 80, M Piñero (Esp) 73 86,
162 G Ralph (Eng) 78 84
Source: European Tour