England’s Carl Mason holed in one on his way to his 23rd Senior Tour victory, equalling the record set by Tommy Horton with a stunning victory in the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open.
Mason’s spectacular start matched the surroundings as he followed a triple bogey seven on the second with an ace on the very next hole, holing out with a nine iron to get his title hopes back on track.
Spurred on by his good fortune he made five birdies on the back nine for a closing 68 and 11 under par total of 199 and a two-stroke victory.
It was his third success in the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open having previously won the title in 2007 and 2008 and puts him level with compatriot Horton with 23 titles.
“Unbelievable,” he said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever win 23 titles. I would have been happy to just compete well but then I started to get close to the record. Now I have equalled it, at long last. It’s incredible, I can’t quite believe it.”
Mason’s title bid seemed to be unravelling when he hooked a 3 iron into the trees on the second and got into more trouble trying to escape through a gap. He eventually found the green in four after chipping out but compounded the error with three putts.
His mood would not have been great walking to the next tee but, “the next minute the shot dropped in the hole.”
His birdie on the 16th was almost as impressive as a pushed tee shot crashed into the trees and dropped down just 100 yards from the tee. A wedge to the corner of the dogleg was followed by a long four iron to 80 feet. Then his enormous putt somehow found the bottom of the hole.
“You kind of know it is your day when these things happen,” he admitted.
It was the eighth successive year going back to 2003 that Mason has won on the Seniors Tour as he became the first player to win the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open three times.
American Jerry Bruner birdied the last to claim second place, with Order of Merit leader Boonchu Runagkit of Thailand dropping a shot on the 18th to drop back to a share of third with South African Bertus Smit.