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Sunday, 13 May 2007

England’s Nick Job defeated compatriot Martin Poxon at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off in Turkey to capture The Gloria Classic on the European Seniors Tour.

Job had produced a spectacular birdie-eagle finish to force extra holes at Gloria Golf Resort, with the pair locked on ten under par 206, but similar fireworks were not required in the play-off as Poxon conceded defeat after twice finding water on the pair’s return to the par five 18th.

The players shook hands in the middle of the fairway and Job, whose ball was just off the green in two, enjoyed a long celebratory walk to collect a winner’s cheque for €48,750 and his fourth European Seniors Tour title.

Job had carded rounds of 71-67-68 to finish on ten under par 206 alongside Poxon, who went 70-66-70.

One stroke further back in a share of third place were Delroy Cambridge of Jamaica, Luis Carbonetti of Argentina and Stewart Ginn of Australia. England’s Bob Cameron was sixth on eight under par 208, while another Englishman, Jim Rhodes had something to savour after his €7,475 cheque for a share of tenth place saw him become only the fourth golfer to pass €1m in Seniors Tour official career earnings with €1,003,969.

“It is very important to get a win in the bank so early in the season and secure another two year exemption. Poor old Poxy - he played nicely this week – but obviously I am very happy,” said 57 year old Job, whose last win came in Scotland almost two years ago.

“I am much better with pressure than I used to be. I suppose it’s an age thing, but certainly all the work in the gym has helped. My action is much improved as a result and mentally I feel stronger because you feel as though you are committed.”

Poxon, meanwhile, was left regretting a decision to play safe on the 72nd hole when a birdie four would have prevented the need for extra holes.

After being slightly right off the tee, Poxon faced a long second shot that required a slight fade in order to reach the putting surface. With water lurking on the left, he opted to lay-up and then knocked a wedge 12 feet over the pin.

His putt brushed the cup and with that went his best chance. 

In the play-off he drove into the water down the left and, with Job in the middle of the fairway, was left with no option but to have a go at the green with his third. However, his three wood found a watery grave and that was that.

“I did have a shot at it (on the 18th in regulation play) but I chose not to do it. Maybe that was wrong,” said Poxon. “I have been in three play-offs now and lost every one.”

However, when the disappointment fades the former European Tour player will look back on a fine performance that netted him €32,500, his biggest Seniors Tour cheque.

Ginn is another who will look back at this week with mixed feelings. The Australian was leading the tournament before bogeys at the tenth and 12th once again derailed his hopes, meaning he has now finished inside the top four places on each of his last five Seniors Tour appearances.

Ginn did birdie the last for a 70 to join Cambridge (70) and Luis Carbonetti (68) in third place.

 

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