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Friday, 19 March 2010
Australia's Bob Shearer jetted home with a cheque for £37,485 in his pocket after closing with a five under par 67 to win the STC Bovis Lend Lease European Invitational over the Duke's course at Woburn G & CC.

Shearer, 53, from Melbourne, started his final round with three birdies and then closed with two more to record an eight under par aggregate of 208 and finish one shot ahead of compatriot Noel Ratcliffe who eagled the 514-yard par-5 18th hole with a curling 25 foot putt but still came up one shot short.

Former Open champion, Bob Charles, consolidated a good day for golfers from Down Under when he closed with a three under par 69 to share third place with Japan's Seiji Ebihara and America's Jerry Bruner while Scotland's John McTear and England's Denis Durnian both duplicated Shearer's 67 while finishing in a share of sixth place alongside Australia's David Good and England's David Creamer on five under par 211.

Shearer won once on his debut season on the European Seniors Tour in 1998 and twice more in 1999 but since then he has struggled to come to terms with an errant putter.

"This season has been a bit of a struggle," said the man who flies home tonight to start three new course design projects in China, Indonesia and Australia. "I haven't been putting well and my driving hasn't been all that good either but both of them came good this week and that's what made the difference."

The Australian owes his improved driving to a new Callaway ERC 11 driver he borrowed from Bernard Gallacher at the start of this week.

"It has been unbelievable," he said. "I have been hitting it 50 yards further than the driver I used to use and that makes all the difference on a course measuring over 6,800 yards.

"Now I can relax on the flight home and tell myself I a winner again although it's a shame I can't stay on and have a few beers with my mates instead."

Charles belied his 65 years when he won the £500 Hardys Wines Super Senior prize awarded to the leading golfer over the age of 60 but the 1963 Open champion was chased all the way home by a rejuvenated Tommy Horton who closed with a 70 to finish alone in tenth place on four under par 214.

Just behind Horton, another Australian, Rodger Davis, 50,showed that he will be a force to be reckoned with on the Seniors circuit when he closed with a three under par 69 to share eleventh place with Jamaica’s Delroy Cambridge and just to cap it all for the Down Under brigade Ian Stanley, the current No. 1 on the Order of Merit, won £1,642 for his share of 29th place and in the process set a new European Seniors Tour record for the most money won in a single season.

Stanley, the winner of the British Senior Open, presented by MasterCard, and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship earlier this season, took his earnings to the season to £158,601, some £174 more than Tommy Horton won when he set the previous record back in 1997.

To date this season five players, Stanley, Denis Durnian, Noel Ratcliffe, Seiji Ebihara and David Oakley, have all won more than £100,000 in official earnings with another seven having banked more than £75,000.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1DURNIAN, DenisENG18-5
2HORTON, TommyENG18-4
3DAVIS, RodgerAUS18-3
T4BALLESTEROS, ManuelESP183
T4GARRIDO, AntonioESP183
6MILLER, MikeSCO188
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