The 2013 European Senior Tour season reaches an intriguing climax in Mauritius this week, as Paul Wesselingh and Steen Tinning go head-to-head for the John Jacobs Trophy at the MCB Tour Champions.
After victory in the Fubon Senior Open last month, his third win of the campaign, it is Englishman Wesselingh who is in pole position to succeed compatriot Roger Chapman as Senior Tour Number One.
Wesselingh heads into the season finale with a €47,936 advantage over Tinning, meaning the Dane would need to claim the first prize of €62,814 at Constance Belle Mare Plage and hope that Wesselingh finishes outside the top seven
It was over the Legend Course 12 months ago that Wesselingh sealed the 2012 Rookie of the Year award, carding a second round 65 en route to finishing in a share of sixth place in the MCB Tour Championship, as he signed off a fine maiden year in which he won once and finished fifth on the Order of Merit.
After successfully defending his title in the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship in the second event of the 2013 season, Wesselingh won the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in July and then added five more top ten finishes before completing his hat-trick with victory in Taiwan.
That latter triumph moved him past Tinning and into the top spot on the Order of Merit, giving him the ideal opportunity to seal another award in Mauritius this week.
Tinning made his Senior Tour debut in the event last year, finishing in a share of 17th position, and he has also enjoyed an impressive year since.
After holding off Bernhard Langer in Germany to win his maiden title in the Berenberg Masters in August, Tinning added a second title in the English Senior Open in October at Rockliffe Hall.
The two-time European Tour Champion still retains hope of becoming the first Dane to lift the John Jacobs Trophy, whilst he will also be trying to succeed Wesselingh as Rookie of the Year by fending off the challenge of Englishman Simon P Brown, over whom he has a €33,639 cushion.
It is the third successive year that the Senior Tour’s season-ending event has been played on the sunshine island of Mauritius, with American Tom Lehman lifting the title in 2011 followed by South African David Frost 12 months ago.
Frost, who also won the Mauritius Commercial Bank Open over the Legend Course at the start of the 2011 season, returns to defend his title this week.
The 54 year old, who was tied third in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex in July, opened with a round of 64 last year followed by a 67 and a closing 74 for an 11 under par winning total of 205, one shot clear of Australian Peter Fowler and Englishman Barry Lane.
Also in the field is Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who is playing in the MCB Tour Championship for the first time after joining the Senior Tour in July. The eight-time European Tour Number One is hoping to sign off his first season as a Senior Tour player with a victory in Mauritius, having earned his maiden title at the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters.