Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit held his nerve to seal a first European Senior Tour title with a play-off victory over Frankie Minoza in the Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters this morning.
Jimmy Heggarty and Denis O’Sullivan both shot over par closing rounds to end the tournament well down the field.
Heggarty, looking to build on Saturday’s 67, could manage no better than a 73 thanks largely to a double bogey – bogey finish, leaving him tied for 24th place.
After his horror show yesterday, Denis O’Sullivan managed to shave ten shots off his second round score, signing for a 74 after suffering the same double bogey – bogey finish.
That left the Cork man with a three round total of 20 over par and a cheque of just under €250 for his 76th place finish.
The victory is Ruangkit’s first on the European Senior Tour and comes on a course where he lost in a play-off on the Asian Tour a year ago. There was to be no repeat heartbreak for him this time though.
After leading from day one, the ex-kick boxer from Thailand found himself deadlocked at 14 under par with Minoza after both men managed final rounds of 66. Ruangkit managed a knockout blow at the second extra hole though and became the second first-time winner on the Senior Tour in as many events.
Speaking after his victory, Ruangkit said: “I’m very happy to win my first Senior Tour title – it has given me great confidence.
“I was very nervous for the play-off, but I managed to control my nerves, and I’m just so happy to have won – although I feel a little sorry for Frankie, because he played very well today. I didn’t think I could beat him, to be honest.”
England’s Kevin Spurgeon, winner in Mauritius in December, did enough to retain top spot in the Order of Merit, but last year’s champion Sam Torrance claimed a top five finish in Brunei to narrow the gap considerably.