Australia's Terry Gale ended a six season winless drought when he birdied the last to record a 68 and claim a one shot victory over England's Keith MacDonald in the GIN Monte Carlo Invitational at Monte Carlo GC.
Gale came to the final hole one shot behind MacDonald but the Englishman missed the green in two and then failed to get up and down. Meanwhile, the Australian, having hit a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway, coaxed a wedge into six feet and then seized his opportunity by stepping up and calmly rolling in the putt for the 34,681 euro (£21,975) first prize.
"I can't begin to tell you what this feels like," said the Australian whose sole win on the European Seniors Tour was at the 1996 Senior PGA Championship at The Belfry.
"When I won in Birmingham, I thought I might go on and win on a regular basis but it has not happened like that. There have been long periods when I have struggled, when I haven't played well, so this means a lot to me.
"But I hate to win like that," he added. "Keith played beautifully all the way round. He didn't deserve to lose like he did."
Gale and MacDonald started the final round tied on nine under par 129. The Englishman moved three ahead when he birdied the first, third and seventh to go out in 31, but then let his chance of winning a first Seniors Tour title slip when he dropped shots at both the 461 yard 10th and the 437 yard 16th before finally losing his slender one shot advantage down the last. .
Gale's 68 saw him finish on ten under par 197, one shot in front of MacDonald, who closed with a 69 for a nine under par total of 198
Spain's Manuel Pinero completed his tournament with a three under par 66 to tie for third place with America's Jerry Bruner.
The Spaniard, making his first appearance on the Seniors Tour, recorded 15 pars and no bogeys, meaning that he had played the whole of the tournament without dropping a single shot.
"I I have played very well but am a little disappointed I did not hole a few more putts," said Pinero. "But I have thoroughly enjoyed the week. I met a lot of guys I haven't seen for 10 or 15 years and also done well enough to make me think I can win once I have had a couple of tournaments under my belt.2
Further down the leaderboard, England's Denis Durnian produced his eighth top-ten finish of the season when he shared fifth place with compatriot Nick Job and New Zealand's Barry Vivian on four under par 203..
England's Malcolm Gregson carded a 65, the low round of the day, to share eighth place with Australia's Ian Stanley on 204 and Canada's John Irwin, the runner-up at the recent Senior British Open, carded a 68 to finish alone in tenth place on 206.
Gary Player closed with one over par 70 to finish in a share of 26th place on four over par 211. However, that was good enough for the South African to claim the 1,500 euro (£950) Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor aged 60 or over.
The final round turned out to be a disaster for Scotland's Bernard Gallacher. The former Ryder Cup captain lost two balls while running up a ruinous 11 on the 492 yard par five 17th hole and went on to record a 78. He finished in a share of 42nd place on twelve over par 219.