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Thursday, 02 September 2004
Paul Leonard will defend the Bovis Lend Lease European Senior Masters this week at Woburn Golf & Country Club still stoked with vivid memories of last year’s success.

Thanks to a sizzling six under par 66 on the final day the man from Northern Ireland came from six shots behind the leaders to win his first European Seniors Tour title in five years.

“Winning there was something I will never forget. It will live with me all my life,” said Leonard.

He beat England’s Nick Job and Bill Longmuir from Scotland by a stroke to win the prestigious tournament, which tees off on Friday boasting a stellar field including Scotland’s Sam Torrance, Englishman Carl Mason and Ireland’s Christy O’Connor Jnr.

“I am really looking forward to the Bovis Lend Lease European Senior Masters. Last year was a special week as I had not won for five years. It was great to win there at such a big tournament,” added Leonard.

The 59 year old has posted a couple of top 15 finishes this year and is pleased with the shape his game is in heading to Woburn.

He said: “I have been playing reasonably well this past couple of months. Started off the season not to good but I am happy the way I am playing now. I am not putting to good. I am making chances but a missing a few short ones.

“Woburn is the sort of course where you have to play well. You will not get round poking it round. I just hope that I can hole a few putts again.”

Leonard also played well in the Bovis Lend Lease European Seniors Masters in 2002 finishing equal 11th suggesting he will not be far away from top spot this year as well.

“I have played reasonably well there for the past two years so I like the course. I usually drive pretty well which you need to do at Woburn,” said Leonard.

The pressure of defending a title is not something that concerns him.

“It’s a big week defending a title but at the end of the day it is very difficult to defend and not many people do it successfully. I will go there and just play as well as I can,” added Leonard.

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