South Africa’s Chris Williams secured his second European Senior Tour title after beating Surrey’s Gary Marks in a play-off at the inaugural Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq.
Williams started the day one shot behind compatriot James Kingston, but quickly raced into the lead with three birdies and an eagle in the space of four holes from the fourth to the seventh at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club in the United Arab Emirates.
A bogey on the eighth hole saw him drop to 13 under par, where he would remain until the end of his round. Three birdies in succession on the back nine saw Marks draw level and the two parred the final hole, with Williams making a wonderful sand save, leaving just a three-foot putt to force a play-off.
Marks bogeyed the first play-off hole, as 57-year-old Williams holed from six feet to win his first title since the Brunei Senior Masters in 2011.
“I played great the first day, and I’m just so excited about winning my second tournament,” he said. “I’m two days short of my 58th birthday and you get to a point where you feel like you’re running out of years and to have won a tournament like this is a shot in the arm. I got a bit anxious with my second shot on the last and it went in the bunker. There wasn’t a lot of room to work with, it was a really tight shot but I played it perfectly under the circumstances.
“I can’t put into words how I feel. I’m working just as hard as I was 30 years ago because of the standard on this Tour. I’m so happy to win a tournament again.”
The Senior Tour returned to the United Arab Emirates for the first time since 2000, with the Sharjah hosting its first ever professional tournament.
Sharing third place on 12 under par were Magnus Atlevi and James Kingston. Atlevi carded the round of the day, a 65, to move one place up the leaderboard after starting the day in fourth.
Two-time Senior Major champion Roger Chapman rounded out the top five, after his closing 69 took him to ten under par. Reigning Senior Tour Order of Merit champion Paul Broadhurst finished sixth.