PAUL Wesselingh, who launched his career as professional at Chorley Golf Club, held on to his MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius when he beat Barry Lane in a record-equalling six-hole play-off. The Liverpool-born player needed only to par the 18th hole to ensure victory in regulation play but three putted from 20 feet.
He fell back to nine-under-par, signing for a closing 69, to finish level with fellow Englishman Lane, who had birdied three of the final four holes for a 67 to set the clubhouse target. The pair then produced some superb golf in the play-off to each birdie the 18th hole five times in a row Wesselingh somehow getting up and down after flirting with the water on the left of the green on the third extra hole before Lane eventually succumbed on the sixth return trip.
The epic battle equalled the record for the longest play-off in the history of the Senior Tour, matching Gordon J Brand’s six-hole defeat of his namesake Gordon Brand Jnr in the De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship in 2008.
“I feel like I’ve been through the ringer,” said Wesselingh. “I’m just delighted and relieved to win. I was shaking on the 18th green in regulation play. Nerves just got to me, so to finally finish it off is fantastic. I was disappointed when I came off after normal play. I felt I had done enough. I needed to be mentally strong and David Frost, who I was playing with, said some nice words, which helped me to focus.”
“I’ve struggled on the par fives all week and barely had any birdies, so to have five in a row in the play-off is amazing. It’s wonderful to win this title again though and I do feel very proud.” Wesselingh had already tasted play-off success in the 2014 campaign, beating Senior Open champion Bernhard Langer on home soil in the WINSTON golf Senior Open, and the long-term club pro added the scalp of another Ryder Cup player in Lane for his seventh Senior Tour title. I’d rather not have to do it through a play-off, but to beat Langer and now Barry, both former Ryder Cup stars and great players, is fantastic, said the 52-year-old, who ends the season in sixth place on the Order of Merit. I’ve always said I feel really honoured to play with these guys, I really do mean that. They are legends, so it is very special. Paul Wesselingh with the trophy.