England’s Carl Mason achieved a major milestone when he closed with a battling one under par 71 to win the Midas Group English Seniors Open over the Jack Nicklaus course at St Mellion International in Cornwall.
Mason won the English Seniors title in both 2003 and 2004 and after a year’s hiatus he made it three wins in a row with a four under par 54-hole aggregate of 212 that saw him finish one shot ahead of Australia’s Stewart Ginn.
Ginn closed with a fine five under par 67 while Japan’s Seiji Ebihara, Scotland’s Martin Gray, England’s Nick Job and Zimbabwe’s Tony Johnstone all carded four under par rounds of 68 to finish in a share of third place on two under par 214.
Mason started the day two shot clear of Trinidad and Tobago’s Alan Mew after opening rounds of 70 and 71 but had to work hard at the first where he missed the green to the right and then had to hole a curling 12 foot putt for a par.
He dropped a shot after hitting his approach over the green fifth hole but then retained the initiative with birdies at both the ninth and par three 11th where he hit a seven iron into ten feet from the hole.
“It was a nice solid round,” said Mason. “I set out with the intention of keeping the mistakes to a minimum and that’s what I managed to do.
“At one point I noticed that Stewart (Ginn) and one or two others were making a move but I decided to stick to the gameplan and it turned out to be a good decision in the end.
“This is a very demanding golf course,” he added. “You can’t afford to relax for a second because there is trouble all over the place.”
Mason’s win was his 13th since joining the European Seniors Tour back in the summer of 2003 and was his second in seven days after also winning last week’s European Seniors Masters at Woburn. He collected a cheque for £22,500 (€33,080) which consolidated his fourth place on the Order of Merit with £116,554 (€195,924).
Ginn’s second place finish replicated a result earlier in the season when he lost out to Scotland’s Sam Torrance in a play-off for the AIB Irish Seniors Open at Fota Island in Cork.
Ginn started the day in a share of eighth place but shot through the field with an outward half of 31 before dropping a shot at the 403-yard par four 13th hole and picking up another birdie on the 429-yard par four 17th hole.
“That dropped shot at the 13th cost me dear,” said the man who won the 2002 Ford Senior Players’ Championship on the Champions Tour in the United States. “But I played well. It won’t be long before I get my first European Seniors Tour win under my belt if I keep playing like this.”
The best round of the week came from England’s Robin Mann who carded an eight under par 64 that was just one shot outside the course record set by Mason at the Benson & Hedges International in 1995.
Mann went out languishing in a tie for 57th place but stormed through the field with a round that included nine birdies and just one dropped shot at the fifth hole.
“For once I didn’t get in the way of myself,” said the owner of Felixstowe Driving Range and the Suffolk County Golf Coach. “I played one shot at a time just like I tell my pupils and it worked a treat. I think I deserve a pint.”