For the third successive day England’s Carl Mason came through a match that went the full distance to progress to the semifinals of The Daily Telegraph/Turismo Andaluz European Seniors Match Play Championship.
Defending champion Mason, who won his opening two matches on the 18th at Flamingos Golf Club, was pushed into extra holes by Giuseppe Cali before beating the Italian on the 19th with a brilliant birdie.
In another memorable match Mason had to hole a 12 footer for par on the 18th to remain all square and then on the first extra hole, the par four first, he nailed a seven iron to ten feet to set up his winning putt.
“It was another good match. I am fed up of going up and down this 18th hole. I came right at the end. I played very well again. I am feeling good and going for a lie down and a beer now,” said Mason, who is currently in second place on the Seniors Tour Order of Merit but poised to regain top spot.
Mason was all square at the turn but was one down on two occasions on the inward half before getting back to level by the time they reached the last.
He was fortunate to benefit from a mistake by Cali’s caddie on the 16th. The Italian was one up but lost the hole after his caddie took a ride in a buggy which breached the transportation rule.
“I putted poorly on the front nine, it was appalling. I could not make a thing and he made some great up and downs to stay in the game. Fortunately when I needed to hole the putts I did,” added the 51 year old.
Mason faces Chilean Guillermo Encina in tomorrow morning’s semifinal while in the other match Scotland’s John Chillas will play Englishman Bob Cameron. The 18 hole final will be played in the afternoon.
Chillas defeated Japan’s Seiji Ebihara three and one thanks to a run of four birdies on the trot from the seventh.
“The birdies were great but in fairness Seiji was not at his best. Neither of us played particularly well. I got on the lucky side of playing poorly,” said Chillas, who would dearly love to claims this week’s title as he has finished runner up for the past two weekends.
“I am feeling good. We will wait and see what happens. It’s match play and anything can happen,” added the Scot.
Cameron, winner of this year’s Open de France Seniors, knocked out Scotland’s Martin Gray two and one. The Englishman was three up at the turn and was able to hold Gray at bay from thereon in.
Encina made it through by overcoming Englishman Nick Job. The Chilean was in superb form on the front nine going out in four under par 32 and coasted home to a 4&2 win without dropping any shots.