Friday, 19 March 2010
America's David Oakley won his second European Seniors Tour title in the space of three weeks when he parred the second extra hole of a sudden-death play-off to defeat England's Keith MacDonald at the Scottish Seniors Championship at The Roxburghe near Kelso.

Oakley, 56, a former furniture sales manager from Orlando, Florida, who won the Energis Seniors Masters at Wentworth a fortnight ago, struggled to a three over par 75 in the high winds that blighted the final round but then played regulation golf over the extra two holes to pip MacDonald, the club professional at Goodwood GC in Sussex, who drove into the bunker on the second extra hole and then could not get up and down from 90 yards.

Earlier, MacDonald had closed with a level par 72 to finish tied with Oakley on six under par 210, one shot ahead of Japan's Seiji Ebihara and Scotland's Russell Weir. The English trio of Jim Rhodes, Nick Job and John Morgan finished tied with Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan on four under par 212 but pre-tournament favourite, Australia's Rodger Davis, slumped to a disappointing final round 75 that saw him drop into a share of tenth place alongside Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, Scotland's John Chillas and Welshman, Craig Defoy.

"It doesn't get any easier to win," said Oakley after picking up his 39,592 euro (£24,990) first prize. "I won three weeks ago and had a three shot lead going into the final round but I still woke up just after midnight and didn't get much sleep after that."

"It was a real struggle out there in the wind," he added. "When I bogeyed the 11th and the 12th I wondered whether it was going to be my day.

"The key to the round was the 30-footer I holed for a birdie on the par-5 14th. That was absolutely vital. After that I felt in control."

Rookie, Russell Weir, the former PGA Cup player from Cowal, was the leading Scot in the field but another to do well was Chillas, the club professional at Stirling GC, who marked his European Seniors Tour debut with a closing 70 that got him straight into next week's £225,000 STC European Invitational at Woburn and now gives him a much better chance to avoid having to go to the dreaded Qualifying School at the end of the season.

"That could be an important round for me," said Chillas, the current Scottish Professional champion.

"One of my main goals here was to finish in the top-10 because that gives me an automatic place in next week's field.

"My plan for the rest of the season is to earn enough to avoid having to go to the Qualifying School at the end of the season.

"That's the idea but it will be tough if I can't get into a few more events."

England's Tommy Horton and South Africa's John Fourie stormed through the field with best-of-the-day four under par 68s to share the £500 Hardys Wine Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor over the age of 60.

Both Horton and Fourie started the final round one shot behind Canada's Bill Hardwick but overhauled the Canadian who could only finish with a one under par 71.

"That was a nice solid round," said Horton, who won the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit on five occasions between 1993 and 1999 but has struggled with an eye problem for much of the 2001 season.

"I had a nice solid start when I went out in one under par 35 and then had a bit of a purple patch when I birdied the 11th, the 13th and the 14th.

"It's something to build on ahead of next week's STC European Invitational at Woburn."

Australia’s Ian Stanley, the current leader on the European Seniors Tour Order of merit won £2,860 (4,531 euro) to take his earnings for the season to £158,139 (250,547 euro). The Senior British Open champion, presented by MasterCard, now needs just £288 from his remaining starts to set a new European Seniors Tour record for earnings in a single season.

Horton holds the current record having won £158,427 back in 1997.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JOB, NickENG18-4
T4OAKLEY, DavidUSA18-6
T6WEIR, RussellSCO18-5
R2D Fantasy

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