America’s John Grace became the first treble winner on this season’s European Seniors Tour when he strolled to a five shot victory at the Big 3 Records Monte Carlo Open at the Monte Carlo Golf Club.
The impressive Grace, 53, who won both the Belfry PGA Seniors Championship and the Ordina Legends in Golf earlier this season, closed with a four under par 65 to finish on eight under par 199, five shots ahead of England’s Maurice Bembridge and six shots in front of two other Englishmen, David Creamer and Jim Rhodes.
Grace’s winner’s cheque, worth £21,000, increases his earnings for the season to £87,742 and takes him into second place on the money list behind Australia’s Noel Ratcliffe.
He also becomes just the fourth man in European Seniors Tour history to finish with an aggregate of below 200 in a 54-hole event, after Brian Waites and Denis O’Sullivan at the 1998 Els Seniors Open at Pau and David Oakley at this season’s De Vere Hotels Seniors Classic at Ferndown.
The American started the final round tied with Rhodes on four under par 134 but he moved into a four shot lead with a three under par outward half of 31 and then extended that lead by one further shot when he recorded eight pars and a birdie over the closing nine holes.
“That’s about as good as I can play,” said Grace. “When I came over here at the start of the season my goal was to get into the top-50 so I can’t quite believe what I have done.
“I have to admit it never even crossed my mind that I would win a tournament so to win three of them in less than two months is scarcely believable,” he added.
Neil Coles won the £500 First National Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor over the age of 60. Coles, 65, winner of this year’s Microlease Jersey Seniors Open finished in a tie for 9th place alongside Welshman, Craig Defoy.
Veteran Hollywood actor, Robert Wagner, won the Celebrity Pro-Am that ran concurrently with the pro event. Wagner produced three rounds of 63-57-62, when partnered by Craig Defoy, Priscillo Diniz and Jim Rhodes, to finish on 25 under par 182, six shots ahead of Pauline Tarbuck and seven in front of Kevin Costner and Helga Piaget. Costner was the defending champion of the Celebrity event.