England’s Nick Job defied winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour to card a one under par 71 and win the £22,500 first prize at the Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open at The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course near Kelso.
Job, 56, started the final round one shot ahead of France’s Jean Pierre Sallat and he maintained that position with a dogged performance that culminated in a glorious 210 yard four iron straight into the heart of the final green.
That enabled the former European Tour player from London to post a 54 hole aggregate of ten under par 206 to finish one shot ahead of Sallat and no less than seven shots in front of Australia’s Terry Gale who claimed third place with a battling two under par 70 for a three round total of 213.
England’s Tony Charnley bogeyed the last but still claimed fourth place on two under par 214 while Australia’s Brian Jones moved up to fifth after returning a 73 that saw him finish on one under par 215.
Job previous Seniors Tour victory came back at the 2001 Lawrence Batley tournament but that did not stop him producing a magical performance in what can only be described as atrocious scoring conditions.
The Englishman dropped a shot at the fourth but bounced straight back with birdies at the fifth and the seventh before battling home in level par 36.
“It feels fantastic to win again after all this time and it’s particularly good to do it from the front,” said an emotional Job after collecting the trophy.
“Jean Pierre played some fantastic golf out there today but I managed to match him
shot for shot and then hold him at bay once he slipped up at the 16th.
“The second shot into the 18th was one of the finest shots I have ever hit in my life,”
he added. “It’s something I will remember for a long time to come.”
Sallat only got onto the Seniors Tour after finishing seventh at last year’s Qualifying School in Portugal but the former professional footballer belied his inexperience with a fine round that included four birdies and three bogeys. He looked set to take his English opponent into extra time until he hit his approach into a greenside bunker on the 394 yard par four 16th and then failed to get up and down.
Gale took 76 to complete the first round on Friday but then posted rounds of 66 and 70 to give him his third top four finish in succession. He won the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Championship in Switzerland a fortnight ago and has followed that with a fourth place finish at the Travis Perkins Senior Masters at Wentworth and a third in Scotland.
“It was a good weekend but I left myself with far too much to do,” admitted the Australian. “But I’m playing well so I can take a lot of confidence into next week’s event at Woburn.”
Earlier in the day Scotland’s Sam Torrance gave the home fans something to cheer
about when he closed with a fine two under par 70 that saw him finish the Championship in the group on three over par 219.
Torrance began his round with a bogey on the 421 yard par four first hole but birdied the third and the fifth to go out in one under par 35. He dropped another shot at the 15th but then rescued his card in style with an eagle on the 571 yard par five 14th hole where he hit a towering nine iron into 15 feet and holed the putt for a three.
“It was a nice way to finish but I still didn’t putt as well as I should have done,” said the former Ryder Cup captain who has won twice on this season’s European Seniors Tour at the Irvine Whitlock Seniors Classic and the De Vere PGA Seniors Classic.
“It’s been a week of missed chances,” he added. “But it’s good to finish with a 70 because it was pretty brutal out there.”
There was no happy ending for The Duke of Roxburghe who has hosted this tournament over his home course since 2001. The four handicap amateur closed with a 16 over par 88 that saw him finish the event in last place on 39 over par 255.
England’s Malcolm Gregson and America’s David Oakley shared Hardys Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor aged 60 or over. Oakley, the 2001 Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open champion, closed with a 75, two shots better than Gregson. The pair finished on six over par 222.