Clark Dennis claimed his second European Senior Tour title as he battled to a one-stroke victory at the inaugural Dutch Masters.
The American, in his first season on the European circuit after earning his card at Senior Tour Qualifying School in February, started the day one shot behind overnight leader Carl Mason, who was chasing a record 26th over-50s title.
The 51 year old, who carded opening rounds of 69-72 at The Dutch, home of the KLM Open and a European Tour Destination, signed for a blemish-free final round of 70, with his sole birdie coming on the par five sixth hole.
After winning the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde over 36 holes in September, after the final round was abandoned due to rain, Dennis was delighted to secure his first Senior Tour title over three rounds.
“It feels great to win again,” said Dennis. “Italy was fantastic, it was good to get that first win in. But with that being a 36-hole event, you always want to do it on the last day over 54 holes and I have done that.
“I played very well today, I didn’t putt particularly well but I hit the ball very nicely and made a putt on the 17th when I needed to. This is a golf course where you have to be patient, there are a lot of difficult shots and there is danger lurking everywhere.”
Having taken the lead on the 14th hole, Dennis was one stroke ahead of Mason and Paul Eales. His second shot on the 17th hole went into a green-side bunker, but the American made a superb up and down to keep his lead, holing the par putt from 15 feet.
On the 18th green, Andrew Oldcorn, playing in the group ahead, had to settle for a share of second place after missing a tricky putt for birdie, and he was joined by Eales and Mason as they missed birdie putts of their own, giving Dennis two putts for the title.
“I’m very pleased with what I have done this year,” Dennis said. “The level of play is very high out here, and to get two wins and be top of the Order of Merit is more than I could have hoped for.
“Winning the Order of Merit is the last goal. After getting to the top, I want to stay there. It would make this a perfect year.”
Sweden’s Magnus P Atlevi, the 2016 Rookie of the Year, finished in fifth place on two over par and the Irish pair of Paul McGinley and Brendan McGovern shared sixth on three over par.
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