Wales' Ian Woosnam captured his first strokeplay title for more than a decade when he defeated Spain's Domingo Hospital after an epic duel at the Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship.
Woosnam carded ten birdies en route a round of 63 which smashed the course record at Krakow Valley Golf and Country Club and helped the Welshman record his first strokeplay victory since the Volvo PGA Championship in 1997.
Woosnam’s 15 under par total saw him finish one shot clear of Hospital, who birdied the last hole for a superb round of 64. Japan’s Katsuyoshi Tomori finished four shots further back in third, whilst Scotland’s John Chillas finished in a tie for fourth with France’s Philippe Dugeny after a fine round of 66.
Woosnam said: “Domingo played absolutely fantastically. He was three under after four holes, and at that point I was just desperately trying to stay with him. Then I three putted on the fifth hole for bogey, and fell even further behind. But in every round of golf you need to have a bit of luck, and mine came on the sixth hole when I chipped in. That got the ball rolling for me, and changed the picture a little. I then birdied the next four holes, but Domingo stayed with me all the way. Every time I made a birdie he made a birdie, and vice versa.
“I managed to make a birdie at the 16th to go two ahead, which gave me a little bit of breathing space. But then on the 18th I pulled my approach shot left, and ended up in the thick stuff. I knew I was struggling to make five from there, and when I saw Domingo’s ball in the bunker, I knew he had a good chance to make an eagle three – and he nearly did. Fortunately I was able to get it out of the rough and on the green. It was a decent shot from where I was, because the last thing I wanted to do was to leave it short.
“I was pretty nervous coming up the last and especially standing over that shot, because it’s been a while since I’ve been in a winning position. I haven’t won a strokeplay competition since 1997, so it was nice to get that monkey off my back. I think I’ll celebrate with a few drinks tonight. It’s been hard work in this heat. It’s a big course and the ground’s very firm, so it’s just knocked my feet about a bit. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, on the back of the tournament in the States. But even though I’m in a bit of pain, I’m still a happy man.”
After only two Seniors Tour appearances – he finished in a tie for third at the Azores Senior Open – Hospital has climbed to fifth place on the Order of Merit with earnings of €46,438. The Spaniard’s aggregate total of 203 over the three days featured 13 birdies and an eagle.