Friday, 19 March 2010
Tommy Horton kept the 'young brigade' at bay in Turkey when he launched the 1999 European Seniors Tour with a stunning triumph in the Beko Classic at Klassis Golf and Country Club.

Horton, 58 next month, captured the Beko title for the second time in three years and took his total of Seniors victories to 21 by finishing one shot ahead of American rookie Alan Tapie, with another newcomer, Bernard Gallacher, in fourth.

The Channel Islander, winner of the Seniors Tour Order of Merit for the past three years, fired a closing three under par 69 to edge out Californian Tapie in a dramatic climax.

Tapie, playing in his first event since turning 50 in March, was one ahead with two holes to play. However, he lost a ball at the par five 17th, where he had claimed two eagles in the previous two rounds.

This time he made a bogey six, and Horton two-putted for a birdie four to run that one stroke deficit into a one shot lead. Horton duly made a cast iron par four at the last for a five under par total of 211 and was carried off shoulder high by two happy Turks in the crowd.

Horton said: "At the start of any new season you wonder if you still have it in you to win, especially in my case as I'm not getting any younger. But it was there today. It's a lovely feeling to win again and to collect what I believe is the biggest cheque I've ever earned."

The former Royal Jersey pro, who relinquished his post last week, did, in fact, pick up his biggest cheque for euro 43,125, hoisting his Senior career total to euro 903,973 - the first player to pass that milestone and taking him close to the magical million.

Tapie commented: "I made a tactical error at the 17th by taking my driver for only the second time of the day. I just chose the wrong club."

Former Ryder Cup captain Gallacher finished fourth on 215 after a 72, one behind Tapie's fellow Californian, Ray Carrasco, whose closing 65 emulated Gallacher's second round score.

Gallacher said: "I was a bit negative and hit a lot of wrong clubs. The main thing was to contend again and I enjoyed that. I knew Tommy was the man to beat, and so it proved."

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