Sam Torrance sealed a stunning week in the Caribbean by capturing his 11th European Senior Tour title in the DGM Barbados Open, safely negotiating a tricky final round for a four stroke victory over Paraguay’s Angel Franco.
Having sent records tumbling with some scintillating golf over the first two days, Torrance found the going a little tougher in his final round but had more than enough in the tank to see the job through.
The 2002 Ryder Cup Captain started the final day with a commanding nine stroke advantage following opening rounds of 65 and 63 – the new course record at Royal Westmoreland – but he dropped his first shot in 43 holes on the eighth.
He carded three more bogeys and two birdies en route to a two over par final round of 74 but with Franco only able to post a 69, Torrance’s 14 under par total of 202 saw him comfortably crowned the tenth new winner of the DGM Barbados Open on its tenth anniversary.
The Scot admitted the magnitude of his overnight lead had left him unsure about how to approach the decisive final 18 holes but he said he was delighted with his second win in three appearances, following his victory in the 2008 season ending OKI Castellón Open España – Senior Tour Championship.
“I survived,” said the 55 year old. “It feels fantastic to capture my 11th Senior Tour title and to win again.
“It was a tough day out there, a lot trickier than the first two days but I got over the line. I guess it can’t be horrible taking a nine shot lead into the final round but I had never really been in that position before so I didn’t quite know what to do.
“I was quite negative really. I played for par a lot but in the end I just got the job done. I did all the hard work during the first two days. I played magnificently on both of those days. I don’t think anyone could have played better than I did in those two rounds.
Torrance’s victory continued his run of winning in each of the last six seasons on the Senior Tour and moved him up a place to sixth on the all time Senior Tour career money list, which is led by England’s Carl Mason.
After also finishing tied sixth in the season opening Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum, Torrance has made the perfect start in his quest to win back the John Jacobs Trophy he won in both 2005 and 2006, with the €25,234 first prize moving him to the top of the Senior Tour Order of Merit.
“The plan before the beginning of the season was to go for the Order of Merit, absolutely, and it’s been a great start to the year” he said. “I’m playing in the next event in Mallorca and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Franco equalled his best Senior Tour finish, set in the Jersey Senior Classic and Russian Seniors Open last year. He finished four shots ahead of third place Mike Harwood of Australia, who was making only his second Senior Tour appearance after a break from competitive golf of more than ten years.
Defending champion Bill Longmuir of Scotland carded his third consecutive 71 to finish tied seventh, while Welshman Ian Woosnam, the 2008 Senior Tour number one, closed with a round of 73 to finish in a share of 27th on six over par 222 in his first appearance of the new season.