Defending champion Carl Mason from England survived a tough opening round match against Jamaican Delroy Cambridge in The Daily Telegraph/Turismo Anadaluz European Seniors Match Play Championship.
Mason, with three victories under his belt this year, once again started the European Seniors Tour event as favourite but came close to an early exit after overcoming Cambridge, winner of this event in 2002, by one hole.
“It was a hell of a match! Blimey O’Reilly!” said Mason, who is presently second on the Seniors Tour Order of Merit list.
In an incredible match the duo were tied with two to play before Mason made a crucial birdie putt on the 17th from 25 feet and then parred the last to secure the victory at Flamingos Golf Club, near Marbella, Spain.
The Englishman had raced into an early lead going three up after five but he was then reeled in by his big hitting Jamaican opponent who had squared the match by the turn with birdies on the sixth, eighth and ninth.
It took an eagle by Mason on the par five 10th for his lead to be restored as Cambridge made birdie, before Cambridge squared things up again by birdieing the 16th.
“I was six under after 10 but only one up. It was a tough match which neither of us deserved to lose. It was always going to be a tough game because he is a great player,” added Mason.
In the second round Mason has been drawn against Australian Noel Ratcliffe, who convincingly beat Spain’s Antonio Garrido six and four.
In one of the best matches of the day Englishman Bob Cameron defeated Bill Longmuir from Scotland.
Longmuir, is currently in fourth place on the Merit list following two victories, but he had his hands full with Cameron who was six under when the match came to an end on the 17th. The Scot, who claimed the Charles Church Scottish Seniors two weeks ago, bogeyed the penultimate hole to be defeated two and one.
Scotland’s John Chillas, three times a runner up this year, overcame South African Gavan Levenson four and three. The Scot was one down after five but turned things around with birdies on six and nine. He then secured the match with birdies on 10, 14 and 15.
Argentina’s Luis Carbonetti, winner of last weekend’s Bovis Lend Lease European Senior Masters progressed after beating Canadian Bruce Heuchan by one hole.
Japan’s Seiji Ebihara made it through by beating Spaniard Manuel Pinero two and one.