Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti became the first player to successfully defend a title this season on the European Seniors Tour when he produced a brilliant finish in the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open to catch Englishman Denis Durnian and defeat him in a play-off.
Carbonetti conquered Bad Ragaz Golf Club once again when produced an eagle, birdie, birdie finish to force a play-off which he won on the first extra hole by making a par.
Durnian, the leader after the first and second rounds, led for the majority of the final day but was eventually caught when his Argentinean opponent made a three on the par five 16th.
The Englishman made a birdie on that hole and bravely birdied the last two holes to stay square. His birdie on the last resulted from a huge 40 foot putt which he knew he had to make as Carbonetti was only eight feet away. However, in the play-off Durnian hit his approach into a bunker and failed to get up and down.
“What a finish! It’s a little unexpected as I thought Denis was going to be too tough to catch,” said Carbonetti, who won €28,500 (£18,856).
Carbonetti fired a final round six under par 64 for a three round aggregate of 15 under par, which was two better than last year’s total.
Durnian closed with a 65, while Scotland’s Bill Longmuir and Italian Giuseppe Cali tied for third six shots back. Longmuir fired a 65 while Cali carded a 67. Carbonetti’s brother, Luis, finished fifth after shooting a 66.
“It is always difficult to defend a title but I guess I just feel so comfortable on this course. It’s a course where you can shoot many birdies and fortunately by putter worked very well this week,” added the 56 year old who joined the European Seniors Tour last year.
Victory contributed to a great season for the Carbonetti’s as Luis won the Digicel Jamaican Classic, in association with Sony Ericsson, earlier this year.
Durnian narrowly failed to win his fourth title on the Seniors Tour.
“Neither of us wanted to let go. It was always going to be a tight finish as the closing holes are so birdieable. It’s disappointing but I can take some good things away from the week,” said Durnian.
England’s Tommy Horton finished equal ninth to win the Hardy’s Super Seniors Prize, which goes to the leading player aged over 60. Five time Seniors Tour Order of Merit winner Horton returned a 69 to win a cheque from Hardy’s for €1,500. He is now in second place on the Hardy’s Super Seniors Order of Merit list behind compatriot John Morgan.