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Friday, 19 March 2010
England's Neil Coles achieved another major milestone in a long and illustrious career when he closed with a one under par 70 and then defeated England's David Creamer and America's Steve Stull atfter a marathon sudden death play off at the Lawrence Batley Seniors tournament at Huddersfield GC.

That victory marked the 46th time that Coles had emerge victorious in a professional career that began in 1950 and it also extended his own record as the oldest winner on the European Seniors Tour.

Coles was 65 and ten months old when he secured his previous victory at the 2000 Microlease Jersey Seniors Open and he extended that record to an incredible 67 and nine months with one of the gutsiest performances he has ever produced.

The oldest man to win a title on the US Seniors Tour is Mike Fetchick who was exactly 63 years old to the day when he captured the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational.

Coles star three-putted his 53rd hole for a bogey and then failed to get a birdie down the 487 yard par five 54th but in extra time he proved his true ccredentials. All three competitors parred the first three extra holes before Stull dropped out with a bogey on the next. Now it was down to a classic head to head encounter which Coles settled when he hit a five iron to five feet down the 147 yard eighth hole and then rolled in the putt to win the £20,022 first prize.

"This is very exciting for me at my age, said Coles at the end. "Time does tend to creep in but I always thought I could win again provided my back stood up to the stresses and strains of the game."

"I hit the ball very well here all week," he added. "If I can keep that up, and continue to stay healthy, who knows, perhaps I can win again."

Earlier, Ireland's Denis O'Sullivan finished one shot out of the play off when he carded a one under par 70 for a three round aggregate of 210. Italy's Alberto Croce, the first round leader, finished one shot further back on 211.

Ireland's Liam Higgins matched Croce's low round of the week when he closed with a five under par 66 for a three round aggregate of level par 213. That gave him a share of sixth place alongside England's Denis Durnian, Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, England's Malcolm Gregson and New Zealand's Simon Owen.

Tony Jacklin also improved on his previous day's work. The former Open and US Open champion carded a one over par 72 to finish on six over par 220.

"It was nice to be back in this part of the world again," said the Scunthorpe-born Jacklin. "I just wish I'd played a bit better for all the people who came out to watch."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BEMBRIDGE, MauriceENG1821
T2STULL, SteveUSA18-4
T2COLES, NeilENG18-4
T2CREAMER, DavidENG18-4
5O'SULLIVAN, DenisIRL18-3
6CROCE, AlbertoITA18-2
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