Barry Lane secured his maiden European Senior Tour victory at the Cleveland Golf / Srixon Scottish Senior Open at Fairmont St Andrews to complete a unique Scottish double – 22 years after making his European Tour breakthrough in the land where golf was born.
Lane’s first Senior win in his fourth appearance on the circuit, after a final round 72 for a four under 212 winning total, secured the 50 year old Englishman the top prize of £37,500 and took him to 17th on the Senior Tour Order of Merit.
With strong winds buffeting the Torrance Course throughout the final round at Fairmont St Andrews, Lane produced a wonderful display of ball control over the demanding links lay-out as his nearest challengers struggled.
Going into the back nine, Lane was tied on four under with defending champion Glenn Ralph and DJ Russell, but he soon found himself four clear after Ralph and Russell were caught out by a combination of tough pin placements and powerful westerly winds.
“I’m delighted, really pleased,” smiled Lane. “It was very difficult out there today and it was just a case of going out there and trying to hit fairways and greens and I putted beautifully from long distance and didn’t really have any trouble on the greens. I duffed a chip on 16 but when I looked at the scoreboard I was four ahead at that point so it didn’t really matter.
“It’s always nice to win and this one is special – it has been 22 years since my first European Tour victory in Scotland and now I have won my first Senior event in Scotland so the country has been very, very good to me and I am delighted.
“I have always liked links golf and I was happy this morning when I saw the conditions because it meant that nobody could run away with it. The front nine wasn’t too bad but the back nine was treacherous. I got a little bit lucky on the 12th hole when it pitched in the bank of the bunker and stayed up there but other than that I actually played fantastically.
“I think this is just as good as my first win on The European Tour. I came out here and there was a bit of expectation on me. I came here and was told that I was the favourite and I think that is the first time in my life that I have been the favourite to win anything. It’s nice to win – I finished second in my first Senior event so I am happy to win here.”
Lane was the only man in the 78-strong field to finish the tournament under par, with Ralph eventually sharing second place with 64 year old Jim Rhodes on level par in what was a valiant defence of his title.
Russell took fourth spot on his own, but the day was all about Lane who left Fairmont St Andrews celebrating as the only player to win European and Senior Tour titles in the Home of Golf.