O'Sullivan is eighth biggest European Senior earner
Paul Wesselingh with the MCB Tour Championship and the John Jacobs trophies. © Getty Images

Paul Wesselingh with the MCB Tour Championship and the John Jacobs trophies. © Getty Images

Denis O’Sullivan might not have won for eight years but he is now the eighth biggest earner in the history of the European Senior Tour.

The 65-year old former Irish Amateur Close champion finished his 15th season in the senior ranks by claiming a share of 36th alongside Des Smyth in the season-ending MCB Tour Championship in Maurtitius.

The seven-time European Senior Tour winner ended up 29th in the Senior Tour Order of Merit with earnings of €58,476 as Smyth took 27th with €59,853.

And whie that’s not much considering the expenses involved in playing 14 events this year, O’Sullivan’s career earnings are now €1,312,856, putting him just ahead of Tom Watson.

As O’Sullivan closed with a 76 and Smyth a 75, England’s Paul Wesselingh ended a fairytale year in stunning style with a commanding five stroke victory that gave him the European Senior Tour Order of Merit crown with earnings of €311,644, more than €100,000 more than Steen Tinning.

He completed a dream double at Constance Belle Mare Plage, closing with a three under par 69 for a winning total of 14 under par 202, ahead of defending champion David Frost (66) and Spaniard Miguel Angel Martin (67), who shared second place on nine under par.

Echoing Henrik Stenson’s commanding performance last month, the outcome of neither the tournament nor the John Jacobs Trophy was never really in doubt on a comfortable afternoon over the Legend Course for the 51 year old Liverpool-born player.

Starting the day with a three stroke lead over Colin Montgomerie, Wesselingh quickly extended his advantage on the front nine with birdies on the fourth, seventh and eighth holes, as 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Montgomerie faltered, first with a bogey on the second hole then with a double bogey on the fifth after finding water.

Wesselingh then birdied the tenth to open up a seven shot cushion early on the back nine, but suffered a brief moment of concern with back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes, before signing off a magnificent season with a birdie on the last hole.

That clinched back-to-back Senior Tour victories following his triumph in the Fubon Senior Open in Taiwan last month, as an emotional Wesselingh claimed his fourth victory of 2013.

It also completed a remarkable rise from a long time club professional to the European Senior Tour Number One, 12 months after he had secured the Rookie of the Year in Mauritius.

Denis O’Sullivan continues to perform well at the age of 65.

Denis O’Sullivan continues to perform well at the age of 65.

“It feels incredible,” said Wesselingh. “To do it in the way I have done it, by winning the tournament and playing alongside Colin Montgomerie, winner of eight European Tour Order of Merits and a big hero of mine, is very special.

“It feels like it was meant to be. I feel incredibly honoured and delighted. It’s hard to believe what I have done this year, really. To win four times and to win the Order of Merit is an incredible achievement.

“I love this course and it suits my game down to the ground. I won the Rookie of the Year here last year and now the John Jacobs Trophy. I really do have to pinch myself at it all.”

Wesselingh took a lead of €47,936 in the Order of Merit over Tinning into the Senior Tour’s season finale, meaning the Dane needed to win the title to stand any chance of claiming the John Jacobs Trophy.

However, Tinning, who has the consolation of succeeding Wesselingh as Rookie of the Year, finished 13 strokes off the pace in tied 20th position, meaning Wesselingh only could concentrate solely on winning the tournament.

“Halfway through the round I knew I had won the Order of Merit, so I had to refocus a little bit,” he said. “I wanted to win the Order of Merit first and foremost, but then I had this big lead and it is just a dream come true the way it has all happened this week.

“Winning both titles is just like Henrik Stenson, in a way. I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself.”

MCB Tour Championship, Final (par 72)

202 P Wesselingh (Eng) 67 66 69,

207 M Martin (Esp) 66 74 67, D Frost (RSA) 70 71 66,

208 P Linhart (Esp) 72 68 68, R Chapman (Eng) 67 72 69,

210 C Montgomerie (Sco) 70 66 74,

211 S Brown (Eng) 72 73 66, M Cunning (USA) 72 73 66,

212 P Golding (Eng) 72 72 68, R Drummond (Sco) 71 70 71, C Williams (Eng) 72 72 68, M Farry (Fra) 71 69 72,

213 M McLean (Eng) 69 71 73, A Sherborne (Eng) 68 72 73,

214 G Ryall (Eng) 68 75 71, J Carriles (Esp) 74 68 72, R Thompson (USA) 70 71 73, P Fowler (Aus) 72 69 73, C Rocca (Ita) 73 72 69,

215 P Eales (Eng) 72 70 73, S Tinning (Den) 71 71 73, B Lane (Eng) 74 73 68,

216 G Manson (Aut) 73 71 72, A Oldcorn (Sco) 73 73 70, R Gibson (Can) 70 71 75,

217 G Wolstenholme (Eng) 74 72 71, L Carbonetti (Arg) 72 75 70,

218 B Cameron (Eng) 75 74 69, G Brand Jnr (Sco) 73 74 71, H Buhrmann (RSA) 70 69 79, A Franco (Par) 72 72 74,

219 N Job (Eng) 77 70 72, S Luna (Esp) 70 75 74, T Thelen (USA) 76 72 71,

220 J Bruner (USA) 76 66 78,

221 S Van Vuuren (RSA) 74 79 68, J Quiros (Esp) 75 71 75, D Smyth (Irl) 71 75 75, D O’Sullivan (Irl) 75 70 76,

223 B Longmuir (Sco) 75 71 77,

224 S Torrance (Sco) 75 76 73, K Spurgeon (Eng) 74 71 79,

225 P Jonas (Can) 74 73 78, W Grant (Eng) 74 73 78,

226 D Russell (Eng) 74 78 74,

228 M Harwood (Aus) 80 77 71,

232 J Gould (Eng) 75 79 78,

245 G Brand (Eng) 84 84 77.