Eddie Polland and Tommy Horton were both celebrating after the season-ending Seniors Tournament of Champions at Buckinghamshire GC after Polland claimed the title while Horton won the John Jacobs Award for winning the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit for a fourth successive year.
Polland, joint runner up here 12 months ago and dogged by injury this season, shot a level par 72 to finish on four under par 212, two clear of Horton and Ireland’s Liam Higgins, the other runner-up from last year. The grand finale to the Seniors Tour season looked to heading for a play-off until Polland stepped up a gear with birdies at the 15th and 16th, where he holed a 60 foot putt, to open a two-shot cushion.
“After all that has happened this year with the injuries, this is fantastic,” said Polland. “It caps a wonderful season.
“I made my winning breakthrough at the Lawrence Batley Seniors in June but have not been right physically since then. But I kept practising and it all came together today.
"Last year I made a mistake on the 17th and it cost me the title. This time there was no such mistake and is feels great. Those two birdies on the 15th and 16th were critical.”
Horton finished in joint second after a closing 71, one under par, but it was good enough to claim the John Jacobs Award for the fifth time in total. The 58-year-old won twice during the 1999 season and finished in the top ten on a further seven occasions on his way to earning £99,592. Polland’s win lifted him into second place in the Order of Merit ahead of American rookie Jerry Bruner.
“To win the John Jacobs Award four times in a row is something special,” said Horton. “To win it three times in succession last year was great but four times is even better. It shows I’ve been consistent all season and that means a lot to me.
“Each year I wonder if I will still be up there and it gets harder all the time but then you win a couple and it is back on.
“I know I am not as strong as the new guys joining the Seniors Tour but I will be aiming to stay fit over the winter and go for five next year. It’s been a great season.”
Like last year Higgins needed a good week to secure his Seniors Tour card for next season and, as he did 12 months ago, finished in joint second place. His closing round of 72 lifted him into 20th place in the Order of Merit.