Mason the star

CARL Mason, becoming as dominant on the European Seniors Tour as Tiger Woods is on the US PGA Tour, was a runaway winner of the 51st PGA Seniors Championship held in glorious weather at Stoke by Nayland yesterday.

By Tony Garnett

CARL Mason, becoming as dominant on the European Seniors Tour as Tiger Woods is on the US PGA Tour, was a runaway winner of the 51st PGA Seniors Championship held in glorious weather at Stoke by Nayland yesterday.

Four successive rounds of five-under-par 67 left 54-year-old Mason 20 under par for the tournament and a massive six shots ahead of his nearest rivals, the jovial Italian Costantino Rocca and Frenchman Philippe Dugeny.

Mason gave a glorious exhibition for a large and appreciative crowd. He started his final round with a four-shot lead and, after birdies at the opening two holes, looked virtually impossible to catch. The only shot he dropped yesterday was on the ninth when he missed the green to the left and saw his chip run away from the pin down the slope.


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He produced a succession of stunning shots, the most memorable of which was a four iron at the 10th over the water leaving him with a five-foot uphill putt for birdie which, surprisingly, he missed. He said: “That was the only shot I was worried about. It's a tough hole and I had a long way to go with a four iron but I hit an absolute peach.”

It was Mason's fourth Seniors Tour success of the season and the 18th of his career. He regained the PGA title which he last won at Carden Park in 2004. On Saturday Mason eagled the 559-yard par-five second hole when he sank a 35-foot uphill putt from just off the green. He enjoyed a fantastic four days.

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He said: “I have to admit my win here was special. I am very pleased with my level of consistency. I don't think I have ever shot four 67s. It's not easy to lead for all four days but I felt great. The greens were very quick but they were fantastic and it was a pleasure to putt out there.”

Dugeny produced a final round of 63 to set a new record for the 6,737-yard Gainsborough course. He was nine-under-par with six birdies on his front nine and three more coming home. Most of the crowd missed the Frenchman's tremendous display because they were glued to Mason, Rocca, John Bland and the big names who started the day near the top of the leaderboard. How Dugeny must be regretting double-bogeys at the fifth and the 10th during his first round of 75.

Rocca is a delight to watch. Putts would not drop for him on Saturday but he is a top entertainer. It is a pity the same cannot always be said for Sam Torrance, although his final round of 68 left him in far better humour than the 74 on Saturday which knocked him out of contention. Torrance had won the PGA title for the past two years but was below his best while United States PGA Seniors champion Denis Watson was well down the field.

Canadian Bruce Heuchan took fourth place with South African John Bland and Nick Job fifth equal.

(English unless stated)

268: C Mason 67 67 67 67 (£33.330).

274: P Dugeny (Fr) 75 68 68 63, C Rocca (Italy) 69 66 71 68.

276: B Heuchan (Canada) 67 67 72 70.

277: J Bland (SA) 70 66 69 72, N Job 70 69 72 66.

278: L Carbonetti (Arg) 69 66 73 70, J Quiros (Sp) 69 72 68 69, P Teravainen (USA) 68 74 66 70.

279: G Encina (Chile) 74 68 66 71, J Lapsley (Aus) 71 68 70 70, J Rivero (Sp) 72 69 71 67, G Watine (Fr) 72 70 71 66.

280: R Drummond (Sco) 69 67 71 73, B Longmuir (Sco) 71 69 69 71,

281: G J Brand 71 71 70 69, G Cali (Italy) 69 73 69 70, H Carbonetti (Arg) 75 69 70 67.

282: J Chillas (Sco) 72 68 74 68.

284: T Gale (Aus) 71 69 72 72, S Owen (NZ) 73 71 67 73, G Ralph 72 70 73 69, D Watson (Zim) 70 70 75 69.

285: A Sowa (Arg) 72 72 71 70, J Mashego (SA) 72 71 70 72, T Johnstone (Zim) 71 72 71 71, T Gale (Aus) 71 69 72 73.

286: S Torrance (Sco) 70 74 74 68, J Rhodes 68 70 74 74, I Mosey 76 68 72 70, D Merriman (Aus) 71 70 75 70, B Larratt 72 71 70 73, J Bruner (USA) 72 74 70 70, B Cameron 68 71 70 77.

287: M Poxon 74 70 70 73, A Fernandez (Chile) 75 71 71 70, M Bembridge 71 69 73 74, J Benda (USA) 70 69 69 79.

288: D J Russell 69 70 75 74, E Rodriguez (Sp) 72 71 74 70, R Masters 73 69 74 72.

289: J P Sallat (Fr) 72 72 74 71, M Miller (Sco) 71 71 76 71.

290: B Smit (SA) 75 70 73 72.

291: G Townhill 76 70 75 70.

292: D Johnson (USA) 70 76 72 74, R A Green 76 69, 75 72, J L Gallardo (Sp) 69 72 72 79, T Dill (Aus) 74 70 73 75, D Creamer 71 75 73 73, T Allen 72 70 73 77.

293: B Lendzion (USA) 72 74 71 76, T Giedeon (Germ) 73 72 72 76.

294: D Stirling (Austria) 73 72 73 76, M Williams (Zim) 69 76 76 73.

295: D Good (Aus) 71 72 79 73.

296: M Gray (Sco) 75 71 76 74.

297: T Price (Wales) 71 73 76 77.

298: M Malley (USA) 74 72 75 77, M Morbey 73 71 80 74.

298: J van Wagenen (USA) 74 71 77 76.

302: J Hall 70 75 75 82.

304: H Woodrome (USA) 71 75 78 80.

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