Scotland’s Andrew Oldcorn cruised to his first European Senior Tour title with a closing round of 70 to win the De Vere Club PGA Seniors Championship by an astonishing nine strokes.
In so doing, Oldcorn became only the sixth man in history – after Ken Bousfield, Neil Coles, Brian Huggett, Dai Rees and Charlie Ward – to complete the PGA double, having won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club ten years ago.
The man from Edinburgh started the day with a five-stroke lead over his nearest challenger, Gordon Brand Jnr, and promptly extended that advantage to six shots when his playing partner bogeyed the opening hole at De Vere Slaley Hall in Hexham, England.
Brand Jnr rallied with three successive birdies from the second hole to close the gap, but Oldcorn immediately responded with a hat-trick of gains to regain the initiative, and when his nearest rival followed a double bogey on the testing ninth with a bogey at the tenth, the back nine became a victory procession for the champion.
Oldcorn eventually signed for a round of 70 for an 11 under par winning aggregate total which earned the 51 year old €45,646 and moved him to second place behind American Tom Watson on the Senior Tour Order of Merit.
The victory continued a superb season for Oldcorn, who has now finished in the top five in four of his six appearances so far this campaign.
His winning margin was the largest at this event since Seiji Ebihara won by ten strokes at De Vere Carden Park in 2002.
Oldcorn said: “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I couldn’t have picked a better event for my first victory on the Senior Tour. It’s a very special day in my career, and the first time I’ve won a tournament since that day at Wentworth ten years ago, so I couldn’t be any happier. All the pressure was on me today, and Gordon started well as I knew he would. But I hit back well and then had a huge slice of luck on the ninth, where I could’ve lost my ball but it bounced back into play off the trees. But you need that sort of fortune to win any golf tournament.
“When I birdied the 15th hole and Gordon three-putted for bogey, I knew it was in the bag then. That gave me enough breathing space and even though I was disappointed to double bogey the last, I’d already done all the hard work. My first goal this year was to win, and now that I’ve done that I’ve got to set my sights a bit higher and think about winning the Order of Merit. Tom’s unlikely to play in five events and I’ve stolen a bit of a march on Sandy [Lyle] here, so I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully I’ll get my rewards.”
Brand Jnr’s round of 74 left him nine shots adrift of the winner, but the Scot could take consolation from a cheque for €31,952.
He said: “I started off quite well and put a little bit of pressure on him, but then on the ninth I let Andrew off the hook by making a double bogey when he’d been in trouble, and there was no coming back from that. But credit to Andrew, because he’s played very well this week and deserved to win.”
The Australian duo of Mike Harwood and Peter Fowler finished in a tie for third place on level par after shooting respective rounds of 72 and 69.