Taiwan’s Chien Soon Lu coasted to a five stroke victory on home soil in the Fubon Senior Open, capturing his maiden European Senor Tour victory with a closing round of 69 at Miramar Golf and Country Club.
After heavy rain affected play on Saturday, Lu completed the remaining 14 holes of his second round on Sunday morning, recovering from beginning with a double bogey on the fifth to card a one under par 71.
That meant he took a three stroke lead over Englishman Roger Chapman into the final round and a birdie on the opening hole followed by an eagle three on the par five second extended Lu’s cushion and the top of the leaderboard.
The 51 year old dropped two shots in three holes with bogeys on the fifth and seventh holes but a birdie on the tenth settled any nerves and another on the final hole ensure a home champion on the Senior Tour’s first visit to Taiwan.
Lu finished on 12 under par 204 for the tournament, five clear of American amateur Lorens Chan who closed with a 70, to become the 11th first time winner on the Senior Tour in 2011.
“I’m delighted to win the Fubon Senior Open,” said Lu. “I felt confident coming into the event and it is great to be able to hold the trophy.
“I have been playing well in America on the US Champions Tour this year but this victory is the highlight of the season. I was asked by Hseih Min Nan, the President of the Senior PGA of Taiwan, to come back for this tournament and try to keep the trophy in Taiwan and I’m delighted that I have managed to do that.”
Lu was playing in his first Senior Tour event outside the Senior Major Championships but indicated his pedigree last season with top 20 finishes in both The Senior Open Championship and US Senior PGA Championship. He also finished 24th on the US Champions Tour Money List this year and is the third Asian to claim a Senior Tour title in 2011, following Japan’s Massy Kuramoto in the Handa Cup Senior Masters in Japan last November and Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit in the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters in England in September.
Chapman had started the final round hopeful of capturing his own maiden Senior Tour title following three top ten finishes in his last four appearances but the Englishman endured a difficult front nine, with back-to-back double bogeys on the eighth and ninth in addition to three bogeys. He eventually signed for a 79 to finish 13 shots behind Lu on one over par and in a share of 12th place.
Runner up was 17 year old Taiwan-born amateur Chan, who had been given a special invitation by the sponsors to gain some playing experience alongside the Senior Tour players. Frankie Minoza of the Philippines finished third, a further two shots back on five under par after a closing 69.