Paul McGinley fired a closing round of 68, his best of the week, at the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles at Constance Lemuria to claim a top-10 finish.
McGinley, who improved as the week went on, started with an opening round of 72, followed by a 70 on day two and then his closing 68, which included five birdies and three bogeys saw him move up the leaderboard to finish in a tie 10th place with Dan Olsen.
At the head of proceedings, Peter Fowler recorded a final round of 67 to win his seventh Staysure Tour title with the Australian, who won last year’s Willow Senior Golf Classic, started the final round four shots adrift of overnight leader James Kingston, but carded a three under par round, including a bogey-free back nine, to beat the South African by one stroke.
The 2011 Staysure Tour Number One began his final 18 holes at the European Tour Destinations venue with impetus, birdieing the opening two holes to apply pressure on Kingston, reaching the turn two under par after a gain at the sixth followed by a dropped shot at seven.
The calm approach remained key for the 60-year-old as players struggled in the Seychelles sun, including Kingston who dropped three shots in four holes. Fowler, meanwhile, maintained his advantage over a bunched chasing pack as he carded eight consecutive pars from the eighth to the 15th.
With players jostling for position, Fowler gained another stroke at the par five 16th to set the target at four under par, and with Kingston unable to finish with a flourish the Australian was crowned champion in Seychelles.
“It’s been a fantastic three days of golf,” Fowler said. “I made lots of birdies this week. I was fortunate to only have one bogey on my card today and that paid off. I played quite conservatively on the par fives towards the end but managed to get the job done.
“I opened with two birdies and then birdied the sixth and that really settled me down. I played quite well and had a lot of birdie chances but didn’t make them until I got to the 16th, but I kept a lot of bogeys off the card and that was important.
“The golf ball doesn’t know how old you are. Since I’ve turned 60, I’ve said that I still need to work hard. If you look at Bernhard Langer and the other senior guys who are doing well around the world they continue to work hard on their fitness, which is important for us because our fitness is dropping, but I’m trying to keep mine up there. I’ve proved over the last ten years that your fitness is key to success.”
Kingston signed for a final round of 72, two over par, to claim his third runner-up finish of the year and moved into second place on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit. Welshman Phillip Price, who tops the Order of Merit, extended his advantage following his third place finish in Seychelles after his one under par round of 69.
England’s Paul Eales also carded a round of 69 to join Price and Mauricio Molina of Argentina in a share of third, two strokes behind Fowler. A group of four players, including English duo Peter Baker and Simon Brown, Spain’s Miguel Angel Martin and Joakim Haeggman, who carded the joint low round of the day, a four under par 66, finished three shots adrift at one under par.