Gordon Brand Jnr makes first appearance of 2011 season at OKI Spanish Open

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Gordon Brand Jnr

Gordon Brand Jnr

Gordon Brand Jnr is set to make his first appearance of the 2011 season in the OKI Spanish Senior Open by Cleveland Golf / Srixon 2

The Scot spends his winter and spring focusing on coaching in Bristol and missed the early season events in the Far East.

After finishing fourth on the Senior Tour Order of Merit in 2010, Brand Jnr will be hoping to mount an assault for the John Jacobs Trophy this year, starting at El Valle Golf Resort in Murcia.

The former Ryder Cup player will be hoping he is as fast out of the blocks as he was last season, when he won his maiden Senior Tour title in his second appearance of the campaign in the Matrix Jersey Classic.

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3 of the 1981 United States Ryder Cup Team will attend US Senior Open Championship

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Tom Watson will attend 2011 US Senior Open

Tom Watson will attend 2011 US Senior Open

Three of the iconic 1981 United States Ryder Cup Team  are set to make a sentimental return to Walton Heath Golf Club for The 2011 Senior Open Championship, 30 years after defeating Europe at the venue.

Tom Kite, Jerry Pate and Tom Watson have all entered the world class field for the 25th edition of The Senior Open, which will take place at the Surrey venue, in England, for the first time from July 21-24.

The trio were part of the United States Ryder Cup Team in 1981, widely acclaimed as one of the strongest in the competition’s history, which defeated Europe 18½ – 9½ at Walton Heath.  It was the first time Europe had competed as a combined team on European soil.

Watson is a three time Senior Open champion, having also captured the Claret Jug on five occasions. He teamed up with the legendary Jack Nicklaus in The 1981 Ryder Cup to win two points for the United States, including a second day foursomes defeat of Manuel Piñero and Bernhard Langer.

He will attempt to overcome Langer once more at Walton Heath, when the German defends the Senior Open crown he won at Carnoustie last year.
Kite, meanwhile, will be joined in the field by current European Senior Tour Order of Merit leader Sandy Lyle, who he defeated 3&2 in a remarkable singles match in 1981.

Pate, Kite and Watson will spearhead a strong looking American challenge that will cross the Atlantic this summer, which also includes former Open Champions Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman and Mark O’Meara, and the 2010 United States Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin, who finished runner up to Langer last year.

Two-time champion Loren Roberts, who won the Senior Open Championship in 2009 at Sunningdale on its only other visit to the South of England, has also confirmed he will be part of the field.

Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said on behalf of the Championship: “We are delighted to have such a strong American contingent travelling over in July for The Senior Open Championship, including the three members of the 1981 Ryder Cup team who have already confirmed their participation.

“It will be fantastic to see them back at Walton Heath alongside some of the European players they competed against as part of one of the greatest American teams we’ve seen in the competition.  The Senior Open Championship promises to be another memorable occasion and a superb opportunity for spectators to see some of the legends of golf from the other side of the Atlantic.”

Tickets for The Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath are on sale now. Discounted advance tickets are priced at £60 for a season pass and £16.50 for any one day pass if booked before July 1.

 

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Sam Torrance hopes for success at the OKI Spanish Senior Open

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Sam Torrance will attend OKI Spanish Senior Open

Sam Torrance will attend OKI Spanish Senior Open

Former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance will be hoping for more Spanish success when he takes his place in the field for the OKI Spanish Senior Open by Cleveland Golf / Srixon 2, from May 18-20.

 

Torrance won the Spanish Open in 1982 and the Heineken Open, held in Catalonia in 1993, on The European Tour, as well as the 2008 OKI Castéllon Open España – Senior Tour Championship on the Senior Tour.

The Scot will be looking to extend that fine record on Spanish soil when he tees it up at El Valle Golf Resort in Murcia.

He will also be looking to find some form ahead of the season’s first Senior Major, the US Senior PGA Championship, which takes place at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky the following week.

The three-time Senior Tour Order of Merit winner finished tied tenth on his last appearance, in the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship presented by Mission Hills China.

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Chris Williams claims his maiden European Senior Tour title

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Chris Williams in Brunei

Chris Williams in Brunei

South African Chris Williams claimed his maiden European Senior Tour title in spectacular fashion with a seven under par final round 64 to win The Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum.

Williams finished second to Boonchu Ruagnkit on the2010 Senior Tour Order of Merit after a series of near misses but he succeeds Ruangkit as champion in Brunei following a dramatic final day comeback at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

After finishing runner up three times in two seasons on the Senior Tour, and recording 12 top ten finishes last year – the most of any player – Williams admitted it was a huge relief to finally get his hands on a trophy.

“The first one is always the hardest,” he said. “I’ve been runner up three times and close on a number of other occasions so people do start to talk about it. It’s nice to get that monkey off your back.

“My last victory was in 2003 and you do wonder if you will win again. To do it against players I competed again on The European Tour – Barry Lane, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance – was extra special.

“I always felt like I was capable of winning but someone would always play better than me on the last day or have a crucial putt so it’s great to finally do it.”

The 51 year old started the final day at The Empire Hotel and Country Club five strokes behind overnight leader Jamnian Chitprasong but a magnificent 310yard rescue approach shot to four feet for an eagle on the second hole launched his fightback.

Williams had a setback on the fourth hole when he missed a short par putt but he did not let that derail his challenge.

Birdies on the sixth and ninth holes meant he reached the turn in 35 and his title credentials were significantly boosted by four straight birdies from the 12th hole.

With victory in his sights, Williams almost came unstuck on the 17th when he had to chip out sideways from deep rough after his drive kicked left off the fairway and he then missed a 10ft par putt.

However a fearless drive to the middle of the fairway to set up a birdie on the 18th to seal  a sweet first win, as Williams finished on 12 under par 201, one stroke clear of Korean Sang-ho Choi with Australian Mike Harwood a further two strokes back on ten under par.

“I used a lot of visualisation today, seeing the putts going in,” he said. “When I missed the short one on the fourth I went back in my mind and holed it. Whereas in other tournaments people have played better than me to win, I just played better today.

“I thought I was going to have to shoot low today and I’m delighted to have done it.”

Williams has now set his sights on going one better in the Order of Merit and succeeding Ruangkit for a second time, having captured the Thai’s Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum title. The victory and €34,690 first prize moves him up to third place on the Order of Merit behind Sandy Lyle and Peter Senior.

“Winning a tournament was definitely my target at the start of the season but the Order of Merit was too,” said Williams. “Barry Lane is going to be a strong challenger and I think he’ll win a few this season and Sandy Is going to play more so it will be tough. You can’t take your foot of the pedal at all so it was good to get a win under my belt.”

Choi closed with a 67 to finish runner up ahead of 2009 Rookie of the Year Harwood, who posted a 69. Chitprasong failed to continue the momentum he built up over the first two rounds and a closing hole double bogey six condemned his faltering challenge as he carded a 73 to finish fourth, four strokes behind Williams.

Defending champion Ruangkit was tied 11th after a final round 69, while Lyle finished in a share of 18th place on three under par after signing the same score.

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Lyle wins emotional tournament after 19 years, ends drought

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Sandy Lyle's first tourney in two decades

Sandy Lyle's first tourney in two decades

Two-time Major Champion Sandy Lyle captured an emotional first tournament victory in 19 years with a hard fought win in the inaugural ISPS Handa Senior World Championship presented by Mission Hills China.

Lyle had been without a victory since winning the last of his 18 European Tour titles in the 1992 Volvo Masters but the Scot brought that barren run to a commanding end with a flawless final round 70 over the World Cup Course at Mission Hills to finish on 12 under par 204, three strokes clear of Australian Peter Fowler.

“You wonder after about four or five years whether you’ll ever win again let alone nearly 20, so this is very special,” said the 53 year old.

“I joined the Senior Tour and it didn’t happen as quickly as I expected it to so you do have doubts.  My trophy cabinet has been gathering dust over the years so  I feel relieved to get a win and it’s even better that it’s here in China on this course. This answers a lot of questions I had about myself.”

The five-time Ryder Cup player began the final round with a two shot advantage and never looked like relinquishing it despite Fowler’s enduring challenge, which only ran out of steam over the last two holes.

Lyle birdied the second hole before picking up another shot on the sixth hole and while Fowler moved within one shot of him with a birdie on the 16th, the Australian then bogeyed the 17th to restore Lyle’s cushion.

Par on the closing hole – where he had dropped his only shot of the tournament in the second round – compared to another bogey by Fowler was enough to give Lyle a victory that he admitted was one of the most meaningful in his 34 year professional career.

“This victory is very sweet as it’s obviously been such a long time,” said Lyle. “I said a couple of years ago that I’d be happy just to win a Par Three contest – it had been that long.

“I showed a lot of patience this week.  I only made one bogey in three rounds which is way beyond my norm. Usually I’d make at least four or five but I was very consistent.

“I drove the ball well which is important on a course like this. My iron play wasn’t actually that hot today but I kept it reasonably close.

“Peter played well and put the pressure on when he got to one shot but he found the rough on 17th and all though he recovered really well he missed a six footer for par which gave me a two shot lead again going down the last which really helped.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy today and I certainly didn’t run away with it but it was a lot nicer going to the 18th with a two shot lead rather than a one shot lead when you’ve not won for so long.”

Lyle, who is an ambassador for title sponsor ISPS, had given warning of an impending return to the winners’ enclosure when he started the 2011 season by finishing runner up in the Handa Australian Senior Open and tied fifth in the Handa Cup Senior Masters in Japan to lead the European Senior Tour Order of Merit.

The 1985 Open Champion and 1988 Masters Champion extended his advantage at the top to €51,783 courtesy of collecting the €37, 484 first prize in China, with 2010 Order of Merit winner Boonchu Ruangkit moving into second place courtesy of finishing tied eighth along with Ian Woosnam at Mission Hills.

Fowler’s closing 71 for second place represented his best finish on the Senior Tour following an injury plagued two years. Paraguay’s Angel Franco was third on seven under par after also signing for a 71.

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Former PGA Professional National Champion BobBoyd of Wilmington, N.C loses battle with leukemia

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Bob Boyd

Bob Boyd

Former PGA Professional National Champion BobBoyd of Wilmington, N.C., died Feb. 21, after a five-year battle with leukemia. Boyd had undergone a third bone marrow transplant in mid-January at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, but his body rejected it. He was 55.His wife, Pam, posted the following notice, Feb. 21, on her husband’s caringbridge.org journal page:

“It is with Great Joy that I tell you that Robert McLean Boyd Jr. took his last breath on this earth at 8:00 a.m. this morning. I believe there was a tee time that he was trying to make. McLean & I along with the bunch of fabulous family members and friends that came up had a wonderful last night with him. He rested very well, as did we, at his bedside thanking him for the wonderful life that he provided for us. We will be forever grateful that we were blessed with Bob Boyd and that God chose us to be his Earthly family.”

Boyd was the most prolific PGA of America playing professional of the Carolinas PGA Section, winning 26 individual and 20 team major Section championships and seven Section Player of the Year titles. A graduate of the University of Maryland, who turned professional in 1977, Boyd was elected to PGA of America membership in 1980.

“Bob Boyd represented the consummate competitor in everything he did,” said Carolinas PGA Section President Karl Kimball of Hillsborough, N.C. “He leaves us with 26 CPGA major championships and seven player of the year titles. The Carolinas PGA Section mourns the loss of Bob and extends to his family the deepest of sympathy. We are grateful for the memories and achievements that Bob has left us with but the void that is left behind will never be filled.”

Boyd competed in 20 PGA Professional National Championships, capturing the 1988 title in his home state. He defeated fellow Carolinian Rick Morton on the second hole of a playoff at legendary Pinehurst No. 2. Boyd went on to post five top-10 and 11 top-25 performances in the National Championship.

“Bob competed in life like he did on the golf course,” said Carolinas PGA Executive Director Ron Schmid. “He never wanted to lose, and he applied that spirit in fighting this disease. He was the greatest playing professional ever to wear the Carolinas PGA logo.”

Boyd extended his professional career by competing on the European Senior Tour, winning the 2005 Open de Espana Senior. He registered 15 top-10s and finished four seasons in the top 30 on the Order of Merit on that Tour.

Known for accurate driving and exceptional iron play, Boyd was inducted into the Carolinas PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in February 2008 and the Section’s Player of the Year award was named in his honor. A fierce competitor with an outgoing personality, Boyd played in 10 PGA Championships and five U.S. Opens. He made the cut in four PGA Championships and was the low PGA Club Professional on each occasion. He competed on the PGA Tour from 1983-84, with his best finish a share of sixth in the 1983 Houston Open.

Boyd recorded his career-best round of 59 in 2001 at Pine Valley Country Club in his hometown of Wilmington. He also made 11 career holes-in-one.

First diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia early in February 2006, Boyd underwent a successful bone marrow transplant procedure that June and reached full remission by the following year. He returned to tournament golf on a limited basis in 2007 and received what he described on his Caringbridge website page as a “a second mini-transplant” that allowed him to resume a full European Seniors Tour schedule in 2008.

He competed in his second Senior PGA Championship in May 2010 at Colorado Golf Club, with his son, McLean, serving as caddie. He finished tied for 69th and had remained as confident as ever about his comeback.

“When I look back upon the past several years, I feel like I was certainly saved for a reason,” Boyd said at the time. “If I can’t come back and play well, then I have no excuses.

“It meant everything to me to get back and play. I always enjoy the competition. I may have a business management degree from the University of Maryland, but I have always been in love with golf.”

Chest tumors were discovered during a doctor’s visit in August 2010, a couple weeks after Boyd competed in the Senior British Open at Carnoustie. After receiving a stem-cell transplant on Jan. 12, he remained under treatment in Chapel Hill. Boyd was diagnosed with HVGD (host-versus-graft-disease) on Feb. 18.

Boyd is survived by his wife Pam and son, McLean. A visitation is scheduled Thursday, Feb. 24, at 12 p.m., at Coble-Ward-Smith Funeral Home in Wilmington, N.C., followed by a Celebration of Life ceremony at 1 p.m.

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2011 Berenberg Bank Masters is moved back to Germany

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Berenberg Bank Masters moves to Germany

Berenberg Bank Masters moves to Germany

Berenberg Bank, Germany’s oldest Private Bank, and Langer Sport Marketing, have joined forces to bring European Senior Tour golf back to Germany after a 10 year absence.

Cologne Golf und Land Club will host the 2011 Berenberg Bank Masters from 17-19 June. Carrying a prize fund of €400,000, the tournament will be one of the most attractive events on this year’s Senior Tour Schedule.

Bernhard Langer, one of European golf’s great champions, will be the official Ambassador to the Berenberg Bank Masters in addition to his responsibilities as tournament organiser in tandem with his brother, Erwin, at Langer Sport Marketing.

Langer, 53, who won The Senior Open Championship and the US Senior Open in consecutive weeks last year, will also tee up in the event against stiff competition including a number of past Ryder Cup stars.

Berenberg Bank became a first time title sponsor last year at the Links at Fancourt in South Africa, where Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit won the third of three successive victories on the Senior Tour.

Dr. Hans-Walter Peter, spokesman for Berenberg Bank, said: “The European Senior Tour offers great excitement and, with Langer Sport Marketing, we are delighted to be able to bring senior tournament golf back to Germany after an absence of 10 years.”

Langer, Tournament Ambassador for the Berenberg Bank Masters, said: “We are pleased to bring tournament golf back to the North Rhine-Westphalia region after a one-year break. With the title sponsor, Berenberg Bank and the Golf and Land Club in Cologne, we have two excellent partners for this Event.

“My brother, Erwin, and I have found the right location and know from past experience that there is considerable support and interest in the game among the local community. We are convinced that the Berenberg Bank Masters will be a highlight in the 2011 Schedule and an important contribution to Germany’s bid to host The 2018 Ryder Cup.“

Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, added: “We are delighted that Berenberg Bank is to continue its association with the Senior Tour in 2011 by staging its Masters event at the Cologne Golf und Land Club. It is wonderful that Bernhard Langer has agreed to be the Tournament Ambassador and that our Tour can return to Germany for this profile event.”

The Senior Tour has previously visited Germany for the Senior German Open from 1995 to 1997, while the last Senior Tour event to be played in the country was the Palmerston Trophy Berlin in 2001 at the Palmerston Golf Resort, won by Denis O’Sullivan.

Founded in 1906, Golf und Land Club is one of Germany’s oldest courses and is routed through the dense forest at Refrath. Designed by Bernhard von Limburger, the now defunct German Open was staged there in 1978, won by Seve Ballesteros, and 1983, when Corey Pavin captured the title.

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Des Smyth anticipates excellent year – he stated recently

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Des Smyth

Des Smyth

After a vintage 2010 season by the Irish contingent on The European Tour, Des Smyth believes the time is now right for him to provide more reasons for the Emerald Isle to smile on the Senior Tour in 2011.

Despite winning the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters in September, Smyth felt he only began to approach his best form towards the end of the 2010 campaign and has vowed there is more to come.

The 57 year old from Drogheda is slowly readjusting to life back in Europe after ending a four year stint on the US Champions Tour in 2008.

With two full seasons now under his belt on the Senior Tour, Smyth feels his game is at a level where he can challenge on a weekly basis and is confident 2011 will be a “big year” for him.

“I was delighted with my win last season of course – that made my year as wins often do – but overall I was happy as I felt I made progress, especially towards the latter end of the year,” he said.

“I felt was really improving. I might not have reflected it with the way I scored but my game is much better now than it was two years ago and I’m fairly optimistic about next year.

“I think next year is going to be a big year for me. I know that sounds crazy but I work on a very slow cycle. I always have done. When I went to America I played great for four years then I went on a bit of a downwards swing but I’ve worked hard on my game and it has improved tremendously.

“I competed quite well over the final weeks of the season and that is a good sign for me. Now I feel my game has come round I just need to get the putter going. For a few years there I was playing terribly. I don’t have a coach so I just have to pick up on what people tell me.

“I know by the way I’m hitting the ball if it is good or not. It hasn’t been good but the back end of last year was. Ironically for the win it wasn’t but a couple of weeks later it started coming around.”

Smyth, who was one of Ian Woosnam’s Vice Captains at The 2006 Ryder Cup, still holds the record as the oldest winner on The European Tour after winning the Madeira Island Open in 2001 at the age of 48 years and 34 days.

His victory at Woburn in September meant he has won a tournament in each of the past five decades, having collected his first title in the European Match Play Championship in 1979.

With the scent of victory still fresh from his Travis Perkins plc Masters triumph, Smyth believes his form is on an upward trajectory following a dip towards the end of his stint on the US Champions Tour.

“I did have a little period of adjustment coming back from America,” he admitted. “I played for four and a half years out there and then my game went downhill so I struggled. Even in 2009 I didn’t play well on the Senior Tour.

“It is all to do with the way I’m feeling about my game. If I feel good I feel I can do really well but if my game is not there I’m fighting an uphill battle because the standard is very high. You can’t go out and shoot 71 and expect to do any good. Next year will be good though – I’m happy with my progress.”

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Coach becomes the player on the European Senior Tour

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GordonBrandJr

Gordon Brand Jr

As coach to some of the brightest young players, Gordon Brand Jnr always has one eye on the future but the former Ryder Cup player is also carefully plotting his own success on the European Senior Tour.

The Scot enjoyed a superbly consistent 2010 campaign, capturing his maiden Senior Tour in the Matrix Jersey Classic and recording five other top five finishes to end the season fourth on the Order of Merit.

Brand Jnr also coaches the England Under 16 team, as well as the Gloucester and Somerset county boys, and while he feels the golfing future is in safe hands with the emerging generation, he is also eager to build on his own performances on the course.

His decision not to travel long haul anymore excluded the 52 year old from opening trio of events on the 2011 Senior Tour schedule – in Australia, Japan and Mauritius – but Brand Jnr remains hopeful of competing at the top end of the Order of Merit this season.

“The target is to win again but I’m almost biting the hand that feeds me with the tournaments I miss,” he said.

“It is a big ask to finish any higher than I did in 2010, even one place. I’m playing a third less events than everyone else. I have to put the Order of Merit out of my head unless I come out and really dominate it. I want to enjoy my golf and try to get up there and see how good or bad I am. I’ve set my stall out with my schedule and I’m quite happy with it.

“Last year was a good season and I enjoyed it. It was nice to have the win. I had a couple of other good chances but over the year I’ve played fairly solid and had a lot of top tens.

“I played some of my best golf – certainly for the year – in Jersey to win. I really had the putter going. Anytime you win is special, especially as a professional golfer.

“It wouldn’t have been such a good year without the win – that was the icing on the cake. There was an anticipation that I should win (on the Senior Tour) so it was nice to do it. It was only my second tournament of the year so that was a lovely way to set up the rest of the year.”

An eight time champion on The European Tour and part of the European Ryder Cup Team in 1987 and 1989, Brand Jnr is one of a select group of players to make more than 500 European Tour appearances.

He joined the Senior Tour in 2008 and lost an epic six hole play-off to his namesake Gordon J Brand on his debut in The De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship.

In addition to his playing accomplishments, Brand Jnr has also forged a burgeoning career in the media, as an on-course commentator, as well as continuing to nurture new talent near his home in Bristol, England.

“Commentating is a nice way of being involved in golf, like my teaching, without hitting a ball,” he said. “I also get the opportunity to watch some of the best in the world and pick up the odd tip here or there.

“The teaching is also going well. I enjoy passing on the information. We’ve got one you guy coming through called Chris Lloyd who looks very good. He’s not quite Matteo Manassero’s standards, as Manassero has obviously won on the main Tour, but Chris is 18 and certainly in the next few years he is a name to look out for. But if you watch any of the England boys and even some of the county boys, they’ve all got a real talent. It’s really for them what they do with that.

“That’s where the fall-down comes. They almost feel it is their right to wake up and shoot 65 every day. It’s the effort that has to go into that. We try to get them to understand how much work is involved. You have to treat like a job, even though it is your hobby that has turned into a job.”

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David Frost pulls off magnificent ending to Mauritius Commercial Bank Open

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DavidFrostwins

David Frost wins

David Frost conjured a magnificent eagle three on the 18th hole to force the Mauritius Commercial Bank Open into a play-off where the South African defeated England’s Roger Chapman at the second extra hole.

After a thrilling final round that had seen Chapman overhaul a four shot deficit and take a two shot lead down the final hole, Frost saved his best till last with a brilliant drive followed by a sublime three iron to 15 feet that he rolled home for eagle and a final round score of three under par 69.

With Chapman making a par five on the last to sign for a seven under 65, it meant both men finished locked together on 13 under for the tournament, and forced them back to the 18th tee to slug it out in a sudden-death format.

Two perfect drives were followed by two approaches that found the fringes of the green – Chapman was pin high to the right and Frost just off the back of the putting surfaces. Two fine chips to four feet were then followed by solid putts to force the play-off back to the 18th tee once again.

Chapman then hit his only bad shot of what had been an inspired final round, tugging his drive into the deep left rough. The Englishman was fortunate to get a free drop from a nearby wall but his luck was instantly snatched away as his second shot struck a tree and stayed in the rough, forcing him to play out of the heavy stuff left-handed.

After watching Chapman’s drive find trouble, Frost elected a three wood off the tee, from where he laid up to 50 yards short of the green. Chapman then hit a fine rescue towards the target but ran out of green and found the sand. His opponent made no mistake with his third shot, leaving it 15 feet short and when Chapman couldn’t hole his bunker shot Frost took his two putts to secure the title.

“It was a great final round and a great victory for me because when I was standing on the 18th tee two shots back I didn’t think I had any chance,” admitted Frost who picks up €42,000 for picking up the Mauritius Commercial Bank Trophy and moves to fifth on the 2011 Senior Tour Order of Merit.

“Roger had made a great birdie putt on 17 so I didn’t give myself much hope. Then I saw him take three wood and thought he was playing for a par so I had one chance to make eagle.

“Thankfully I hit a good drive and a great three iron to set-up a makeable putt which I finally made after missing so many great chances throughout the day. I’m delighted to have won here – it is another great experience in my life that I will never forget. I have been very privileged to play and win all over the world and this is another chapter for me.”

For Chapman, his defeat brought a bitter end to what has been a truly emotive week. The Englishman lost his lifelong friend, mentor and coach, George Will, last Monday and his performance was certainly inspired by the memory of one of golf’s great men.

Given those circumstances, a play-off defeat was certainly a cruel end to a day in which the classy Englishman had performed with the kind courage, determination and skill that would have made Will not only a satisfied coach, but, more importantly, a proud friend.

“I wanted to do it for George but it wasn’t meant to be,” said Chapman after the play-off. “I was very emotional out there today – in fact I have been emotional all week – and I didn’t put a foot wrong during regulation play. But you have to take your hat off to David, he made that eagle on the last when he absolutely had to and then I made the mistake in the play-off so you have to say the best man won.”

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