Scotland’s Sam Torrance recovered from a disastrous start to card a three under par 69 and claim his second Seniors Tour title of the season at the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship at De Vere Carden Park in Cheshire.
The former Ryder Cup captain dropped three shots to par when he drove into the rhododendron bushes to the left of the 445 yard second hole but he bounced back with five birdies and an eagle on the 398 yard eighth where he holed a nine iron from 160 yard to finish four shots ahead of D.J. Russell on 17 under par 271.
Carl Mason and Nick Job both carded two under par rounds of 70 to share third place on 276 while Ian Mosey recorded a 69 to finish fifth one shot further behind.
Torrance started the final round four shots ahead of Mason and Job but saw that lead evaporate when he found trouble with his tee shot on the second.
“I don’t know what happened,” said the Scot moments after collecting a winner’s cheque worth €48,344 (£33,330). “I haven’t hit a quick hook in about 25 years but in a funny sort of way it might have helped.
“When you’ve got a four shot lead you don’t know whether to attack or defend but that doubt disappeared as soon as I dropped those shots.”
Torrance’s round took a turn for the better when he birdied the 522 yard par five fifth but his biggest boost came three holes later when he holed out from 160 yards for an eagle two.
“That was one of those things that changes a round and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” he said. “It settled me down nicely and I played beautifully after that.”
The Scot fired further birdies at the tenth, 12th, 13th, and 14th. He did drop a shot when he hit his second shot into sand at the 15th but sealed his third Seniors Tour victory in style with a six foot putt for a par on the 18th green.
“I’m delighted to win this title,” he said. “It’s one of the most prestigious tournaments in Seniors golf and sets me up nicely to have a go at knocking Mace (Carl Mason) off the top of the Order of Merit.
“That’s definitely one of my goals but it’s going to be difficult because Mace seems to be there or thereabouts every week.”
D.J Russell’s closing 68 was worth €30,837 (£21,260) and gave him his sixth second place finish on the Seniors Tour while Mason and Job won €16,099 (£11,100) for finishing tied for third.
Mason paid tribute to Torrance for the way he overcame his early setback.
“Sam gave us a bit of a boost when he took seven on the second but he soon shut the door in our faces again,” he said. “It was a great performance and was worthy of winning this title.
“I played pretty well all week but not quite well enough,” he added.
John Morgan won the Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading golfer aged 60 or over. Morgan closed with a three under par 69 to finish one shot ahead of David Oakley on 284. Tommy Horton was third after carding his second successive 69.