Gary Wolstenholme got his 2012 campaign off to a winning start with a two-stroke victory in the Mallorca Open Senior, the first event of the new European Senior Tour season.
Wolstenholme, who had the distinction of being England’s most capped amateur before turning professional on reaching the age of 50, claimed his second Senior Tour title with final round of 69 at Pula Golf Club for an eight under par total of 205.
South African Chris Williams, Australia’s Mike Harwood and England’s Paul Wesselingh finished tied second, two strokes back.
Wolstenholme immediately goes to the top of the Senior Tour Order of Merit with his winner’s cheque for €30,000 and continues an impressive level of consistency in the senior ranks which has seen him win twice and finish in the top ten 12 times in his 28 appearances since turning 50.
“Everything just clicked into place,” said Wolstenholme. “I came with no expectations so I cannot tell you how delighted I am. This is a genuine bonus.”
Wolstenholme got off to the perfect start, holing from 25 feet on the first for a birdie and while he dropped a shot on the seventh, missing from six feet for par, a run of three birdies in five holes from the ninth lifted him clear of the chasing pack. A wrong club on the 14th cost him another shot but from there he was able to par in for the title.
“It has been a good week,” he added. “This is a top class venue and it's been a great final round. We had some wind coming from different directions and the pins were in tough places so it was hard for players to chase for score and overtake us. But obviously this course fits my game.”
Wesselingh’s hopes of a title on his Senior Tour debut took a blow with a double bogey seven on the sixth and he ended his first event since graduating from the Qualifying School in January in a three-way tie for second place with a final round of 71. Williams made the biggest charge with six birdies en route to a four under par 67 to also shoot a 54 hole total of six under par 207, with Harwood completing the trio on that mark with a one under 70.
Juan Quiros closed with a level par 71 to finish the week as the leading Spaniard a further shot back.