Phil Golding captured his second European Senior Tour title in as many months after winning the Travis Perkins Masters at Woburn in dramatic fashion.
The 54-year-old Englishman, who won the Swiss Seniors Open in July, fired a final round 70 over the Dukes Course for a five-under-par total, to win by a stroke from America’s Clark Dennis and Ireland’s Brendan McGovern.
Golding started the final round of the 54-hole tournament four strokes behind Dennis, who shot a second round 65, birdied four of the first five holes to move seven strokes clear on Sunday – and extend what looked like an invincible lead. But the 51-year-old Texan, who is in his first year on the over-50s tour, undid all his hard work with a bogey and double bogey on the eighth and ninth holes, which opened the door to his rivals.
Golding birdied the first, the fifth and the 10th to stay in touch, and with Dennis running into further trouble on the back nine – with double bogeys at 13 and 16 – Golding found himself tied for the lead with three holes to play. And a birdie-three on the par-4 16th, followed by pars on the final two holes, proved good enough to get the Luton-born player over the line.
“I am a little bit in shock,” said Golding, after picking up his fourth Senior Tour title. “I kept looking at the leaderboard; I’ve been around long enough to know to keep plugging away and grind it out. I said to my caddie that I was playing for second spot after seeing Clark was five or six ahead of me after five holes, but Paul told to me to keep going.
“I’m delighted. It was tough out there. It’s a great course, Woburn, but it’s also very tough, especially in these blustery conditions. If you hit it in the trees, you have to take your medicine, come out sideways, and then carry on. You never want to see what happened to Clark, but he’s a good player, and I’m sure he’ll cross the line soon.”
With this victory, Golding moves up to fourth on the Order of Merit, and with the Paris Legends Championship at Le Golf National, site of his 2003 HNA Open de France victory, on the horizon, the Bushey-based man is looking to finish the season strong.
McGovern carded a level-par final round to finish four under par, with a superb birdie from off the green on the final hole giving him a share of second place. Chris Williams, who leads the Order of Merit, finished fourth with a score of two under par, one stroke ahead of Magnus Atlevi and Peter Fowler. Ian Woosman was high on the leaderboard for much of the week, but three costly bogeys over the last four holes saw him slip back into a share of 12th place on two over.