Sam sweeps aside all his challengers

SAM Torrance swept aside all challengers to retain the PGA Seniors Championship over the Gainsborough course at Stoke by Nayland yesterday by a clear three shots after a six-under-par final round of 66.

SAM Torrance swept aside all challengers to retain the PGA Seniors Championship over the Gainsborough course at Stoke by Nayland yesterday by a clear three shots after a six-under-par final round of 66.

Torrance started the day three shots behind Italian Guiseppe Cali and level with Argentinian Luis Carbonetti. It was not long before the Scotsman had cleared the deficit. Then successive birdies at the eighth, ninth and 10th holes gave him a lead that he never looked like losing.

Torrance said: “I played really well today. In the conditions it was my best round of the tournament.”

A nervous Cali dropped a shot at the first and, although he birdied the short third, he dropped further shots at the fourth and sixth holes as his overnight advantage disappeared.


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Torrance, growing in confidence after his poor back nine on Sunday, holed from just off the green at the eighth. Then he sunk a long putt at the ninth when Cali missed a far shorter birdie opportunity.

When Torrance secured a birdie at the 10th, the toughest hole on the course, he had the title virtually in his grasp. Carbonetti had become the main challenger but he could not find birdie putts when he needed them. The chances were there for the Argentinian but his putter was cool.

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There was a good following for his key match even though there had been two delays for thunderstorms which meant a seven-hour round and a late finish. Some players from overseas were unable to catch flights which they had booked.

There was more wind than on the three previous days and early morning rain had made the greens marginally slower although still in excellent condition after being hand cut.

Tony Johnstone from Zimbabwe ended joint fourth, seven shots behind the leaders thanks to chipping in for an eagle at the par five 16th. He ended level with John Bland of South Africa and the American, Doug Johnson.

Robin Mann, Suffolk's big hope, started with every chance of a worthwhile pay day. He dropped a shot at the third when his tee shot rolled off the green to the left.

Another bogey followed after a wayward drive at the sixth. An eight at the 10th hole ended his dreams after his drive ended deep in a bush on the left. He then he saw his approach shot land in the lake.

In the opening three rounds Mann had two birdies and an eagle at the par five 14th but yesterday he had to settle for a par. Mann finished 41st equal with Australian Terry Gale, Gordon Townhill and Noel Ratcliffe.

Frank Hill of Thorpeness found it hard to maintain his focus for a fourth round but did well to make the cut.

There was drama on the first tee when South African Bertus Smit accidentally struck Frenchman Jean Pierre Sallat on the forehead on a practice backswing. An ambulance was called but Sallat was able to continue after the tee off time for the group had been put back.

Smit started with a birdie and an eagle while Sallat had two birdies in his opening three holes so seemed little the worse for the experience.

Not since Max Faulkner won the corresponding event at Aldeburgh in 1968 has Suffolk staged an event of this importance. Let us hope that Stoke by Nayland can act as hosts to the PGA Senior Championship again next year, but everything will depend on the financial implications. It was certainly an enjoyable four days for the spectators.

Final scoreboard

268 (20 under): S Torrance 65 66 71 66.

271: L Carbonetti (Argentina) 68 69 65 69.

273: G Cali (Italy) 67 66 66 74.

275: T Johnstone (Zimbabwe) 67 69 70 69, J Bland (South Africa) 69 68 68 70, D Johnson (USA) 70 65 69 71.

278: B Smit (Royal Cape) 70 70 72 66, S Owen (Locheagles) 68 75 69 71, B Longmuir (London Golf Club) 67 67 70 74.

279: C Mason (England) 71 68 73 67, J Rivero (Spain) 70 73 68 68, M Poxon (England) 68 71 69 71, N Job (Drift) 67 68 71 73.

280: E Darcy (Druids Glen) 69 65 73 73.

282: J P Sallat (France) 72 68 72 70, D Cambridge (Jamaica) 70 67 74 71, P Dugeny (France) 69 73 68 72.

283: B Cameron (Longmere Golf) 70 72 71 70, M Pinero (Spain) 71 71 70 71.

284: E Rodriguez (Spain) 72 71 72 69, S Ebihara (Japan) 72 73 69 70, M Foster (Bradford Moor) 71 71 69 73.

285: D O'Sullivan (Ireland) 72 71 73 69, S Martin (Scotland) 68 74 71 72, G Watine (France) 67 73 72 73, J Chillas (Glenbervie) 64 74 73 74.

286: G Ralph (Camberley Heath) 72 71 70 73, A Fernandez (Chile) 69 73 70 74, R Stelten (USA) 70 70 71 75, G Encina (Chile) 74 69 67 76.

287: G Heggarty (Northern Ireland) 73 72 71 71, K Spurgeon (Ferndown) 71 70 72 74, J Benda (USA) 70 72 71 74.

288: G J Brand (Marriott Hollins Hall) 72 71 71 74.

289: J Mashego (South Africa) 74 69 73 73, B Larratt (Kibworth) 72 71 73 73, M Ferguson (Australia) 74 70 71 74, D Good (Australia) 72 70 71 76, A Mew (Stoneham) 70 74 68 77.

290: N Ratcliffe (Australia) 71 70 74 75, G Townhill (Brough) 73 71 70 76, T Gale (Australia) 70 70 73 77, R Mann (Felixstowe Golf Range) 73 67 71 79.

291: S Wild (Trentham) 69 73 76 73, G Harvey (Bearsden Golf Range) 70 72 75 74.

292: D Creamer (England) 71 74 75 72.

293: P O'Boyle (Ireland) 69 75 73 76.

294: T Charnley (England) 73 72 73 76, D J Russell (Archerfield Links) 67 74 72 81.

295: M Williams (Reading) 74 71 77 73, M Gray (Ladybank) 74 70 76 75, M Miller (Scotland) 74 71 74 76.

296: J Rhodes (La Meridien Penina) 74 71 76 75.

297: I Mosey (England) 70 72 80 75, B Lincoln (South Africa) 69 73 77 78.

298: M Gallagher (Farthingstone) 75 70 78 75, I Richardson (Burghley Park) 73 71 76 78.

299: D Stirling (Wien-Sussenbrunn) 75 69 80 75.

304: F Hill (Thorpeness) 71 72 75 86.

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