With two events remaining of the European Senior Tour season, the race to succeed Paul Wesselingh as Rookie of the Year looks set to go right to the wire in Mauritius.
Denmark’s Steen Tinning not only leads the way in the Senior Tour Order of Merit, he also holds pole position in the Rookie of the Year contest with earnings of €198,893 so far in 2013.
However, after Qualifying School graduate Simon P Brown claimed his second title of the year in the weather-affected Dutch Senior Open, there is still plenty to play for, with Spaniard Santiago Luna also a possible contender.
Brown, who also won the Russia Open Golf Championship (Senior), is €45,386 behind Tinning, with the Fubon Senior Open in Taiwan and the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius remaining.
Luna is €65,582 adrift in eighth position on the Order of Merit, meaning he could potentially catch Tinning with two strong performances in the run in.
It therefore could all hinge on events in Mauritius, where Tinning made his Senior Tour debut last year and where he will be looking to seal a John Jacobs Trophy and Rookie of the Year double.
“I could never have predicted at the start of the year that I would be in this position so that has thrown out a whole new goal for me and I just have to take it in,” said Tinning.
“I expected to play well this year and to do well out here. I could see in Mauritius last year that I could compete and that made me believe that if I got things together I was capable of playing well and winning out here.
“A lot of the guys out here, if they play will they can win anywhere in the world. It’s such high quality on this tour and I believe that it is the same with myself too.
“I prepared very hard for the Senior Tour. I spent so many hours on my physique and hitting balls and practicing so it doesn’t come easy. With the goals I have in mind, it is not an easy treat so I need to work even harder and move forward.
“The Rookie of the Year award was really at the top of my mind since I won in Germany. It still is so I need to play well in Mauritius at the very least and make sure I finish that off.”
Englishman Wesselingh, who is currently second on the Order of Merit and with John Jacobs Trophy aspirations of his own, claimed the Rookie of the Year Award last year by finishing in fifth position on the Order of Merit.
He is the latest name on an illustrious list of Rookie of the Year winners that includes Carl Mason (2003), Costantino Rocca (2007), Ian Woosnam (2008), Mike Harwood (2009), Boonchu Ruangkit (2010) and Gary Wolstenholme (2011).