England’s Stephen Jensen survived a tense final afternoon to win the Scottish Senior Men’s Open Championship at Duff House Royal.
The Englishman started the final round tied with the Scot Paul Moultrie but fell behind his rival on two occasions before edging ahead with a birdie on the 14th.
Both men dropped a shot on the 15th hole but three consecutive pars down the closing stretch saw Jensen close with a one over par 69 and claim a two-shot victory on one under par 203.
Moultrie has been Jensen’s closest challenger for much of the final round but a bogey on the last saw him post a three over par 71 and drop into a five-way tie for second place alongside a trio of Englishmen, Ian Crowther, who posted a best-of-the-day 66, former British Senior Champion Trevor Foster and Stuart Brown, who both carded level par 68s and Scotland’s Stewart Henderson, who closed with a 70.
Reigning English Senior champion, Rupert Kellock, from Sunningdale, fired a 70 to finish seventh a further shot behind on 206.
“The final round is always scarier than any round you play and today was no different,” a relieved Jensen said at the end. “I got off to a good start. I felt quite calm, cool and collected until the heat came on and then I had to scramble. Fortunately, I’m a pretty good scrambler and that helped me to pull through in the end.
“Credit to Paul though. It was nip and tuck between us the whole way.
“To win a national event like this means an awful lot to me,” he added. “I have been very fortunate to have won the English Mid-Amateur before. That was my proudest golfing moment, but this is right up there with it. To win a national championship is the ultimate as far as I’m concerned so I’m absolutely thrilled.
“The course is fantastic and Scottish Golf has done an incredible job running the event. I also have to give a massive thank you to the members of Duff House Royal for giving up their course for the week and also for the greens staff for the presentation of the course which has been absolutely outstanding.”
Tim Seaton completed an English double with a victory in the concurrent event for competitors over the age of 65.
Seaton was seven shots clear of Scotland’s Ian Brotherston after opening rounds of 65 and 70 but saw that lead cut to six when he closed with a seven over par 75 to finish on six over par 210.
England Senior Men’s captain Alan Mew was the big mover in this category on the final day. He carded a closing 71 to move into a share of third place with Scotland’s John A Fraser on 217 while Welshman secured fifth place with a 75 that saw him finish on 219.
“It’s been a great week,” said Seaton. “It’s the first time I’ve been in this part of the world but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”