Paul Wesselingh ended a fairy tale year in stunning style with a commanding five stroke victory in the MCB Tour Championship as the Englishman sealed the European Senior Tour Order of Merit crown in empathic fashion in Mauritius.
The Englishman completed a dream double at Constance Belle Mare Plage, closing with a three under par 69 for a winning total of 14 under par 202, ahead of defending champion David Frost (66) and Spaniard Miguel Angel Martin (67), who shared second place on nine under par.
It was an impressive display of front running from Wesselingh, emulating the feat of Henrik Stenson, who won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai on The European Tour to win The Race to Dubai and finish as the continent’s Number One player.
Echoing Stenson’s commanding performance last month, the outcome of neither the tournament nor the John Jacobs Trophy was never really in doubt on a comfortable afternoon over the Legend Course for the 51 year old Liverpool-born player.
Starting the day with a three stroke lead over Colin Montgomerie, Wesselingh quickly extended his advantage on the front nine with birdies on the fourth, seventh and eighth holes, as 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Montgomerie faltered, first with a bogey on the second hole then with a double bogey on the fifth after finding water.
Wesselingh then birdied the tenth to open up a seven shot cushion early on the back nine, but suffered a brief moment of concern with back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes, before signing off a magnificent season with a birdie on the last hole.
That clinched back-to-back Senior Tour victories following his triumph in the Fubon Senior Open in Taiwan last month, as an emotional Wesselingh claimed his fourth victory of 2013.
It also completed a remarkable rise from a long time club professional to the European Senior Tour Number One, 12 months after he had secured the Rookie of the Year in Mauritius.
“It feels incredible,” said Wesselingh. “To do it in the way I have done it, by winning the tournament and playing alongside Colin Montgomerie, winner of eight European Tour Order of Merits and a big hero of mine, is very special.
“It feels like it was meant to be. I feel incredibly honoured and delighted. It’s hard to believe what I have done this year, really. To win four times and to win the Order of Merit is an incredible achievement.
“I love this course and it suits my game down to the ground. I won the Rookie of the Year here last year and now the John Jacobs Trophy. I really do have to pinch myself at it all.”
Wesselingh took a lead of €47,936 in the Order of Merit over Steen Tinning into the Senior Tour’s season finale, meaning Tinning needed to win the title to stand any chance of claiming the John Jacobs Trophy.
However, the Dane, who has the consolation of succeeding Wesselingh as Rookie of the Year, finished 13 strokes off the pace in tied 20th position, meaning Wesselingh only could concentrate solely on winning the tournament.
“Halfway through the round I knew I had won the Order of Merit, so I had to refocus a little bit,” he said. “I wanted to win the Order of Merit first and foremost, but then I had this big lead and it is just a dream come true the way it has all happened this week.
“Winning both titles is just like Henrik Stenson, in a way. I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself.”
Frost, who has now won twice and finished runner up twice over the Legend Course, eagled the 13th hole and carded five birdies in his round of 66, while Martin had four birdies in a row from the 11th hole to join him in second spot, claiming his ninth top ten finish of the season – a record match only by Wesselingh.
Roger Chapman, the 2012 Senior Tour Number One, carded a final round of 69 to share fourth position with Spaniard Pedro Linhart on eight under par, with Montgomerie two shots further back in sixth position following a closing 74.