José Coceres held off the challenge of a Major Champion and several Ryder Cup stars to collect his second Staysure Tour win of the season at the Murhof Legends – Austrian Senior Open.
The Argentinian, who began the day with a six-shot lead after carding a course record round of ten under par 62 on moving day, looked vulnerable in the early-going as he dropped shots on the fourth and sixth holes.
Complicating matters for Coceres, 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year Paul Lawrie began his final round with a hole-out eagle on the first and a birdie at the second as he pulled within three of the lead. The Ryder Cup star continued to press all day, carding a seven under par 65 to finish alone in second place.
Coceres steadied the ship after the early miscues, but his lead was again reduced to two strokes with only three holes to play.
Ultimately, the 56-year-old came up big when it mattered, finishing birdie-birdie and emphatically sealing a four stroke victory in style with a 25-foot putt at the last.
“I’m very happy to win this week,” he said. “It’s special to have my son here caddying for me, and I really want to thank my coach, Chino Fernandez, who I’ve been in close contact with all week. He’s been checking my swing and we’ve been talking on the phone.”
The win at Golfclub Murhof is both the second of his season after he claimed the Swiss Seniors Open in July, and the second of his over-50s career, both of which have come with his son caddying.
“It’s important to have my son on the bag for my back,” he joked. “But really, it’s important because he knows me, and when we work together it really helps me to play my best.
“I’m very happy to win here. The course, the volunteers and the entire week has been very nice and it was a beautiful day today. It was a good week. A very good week.”
With victory, Coceres moves to second on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit, behind Welshman Phillip Price, who finished alone in the third place in Austria. Coceres also joins Englishman David Shacklady as the only two-time winners this year.
The Murhof Legends – Austrian Senior Open was the first Staysure Tour tournament to be staged in Austria. The over-50s circuit has now held tournaments in an astounding 45 different countries.
Tournament host and Austrian golfing legend Markus Brier was followed by large galleries all week, but could not manage to keep momentum going throughout the tournament and settled for a share of 40th.
The Austrian will look to earn a senior win on the same course he earned his first professional victory when the tournament returns to the Staysure Tour International Schedule in 2020.
The Staysure Tour now travels to Coventry, England for the Farmfoods European Senior Masters hosted by Peter Baker, which runs from October 4-6 at Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club.