Jack Senior won the weather-affected Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters after a three-way play-off at Montrose Links to steal an early march on the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit.
The Lancastrian former Walker Cup player shot a final-round 66 on the par 71 course to finish five under, tied with Welshman James Frazer (Pennard Golf Club) and Scotland’s Elliot Saltman (Archerfield Links Golf Club) in an event reduced to 36 holes because of fog.
The tournament went to a play-off on the 18th, and while Saltman made bogey after finding a greenside bunker and Frazer two-putted for par, Senior was able to make birdie on the par-four hole having found the front of the green from the tee.
He finished second at the Belfry two weeks ago and after collecting £10,000 for his win at Montrose Senior (Heysham Golf Club) already has £15,000 to his name on the Tour rankings. The top five at the end of the season earn a Challenge Tour card for 2015.
Waterville's Mark Murphy headed the quartet of Irish players to make the cut after the first round, adding a two under 69 to his opening 74 to share 22nd on one over.
Stephen Grant shot 74-72 to share 37th on four over with Richard Kilpatrick (73-74) tied 44th and Brian Sweeney (74-82) 57th.
Niall Kearney (11th) is the top Irish player in rankings after two event with Murphy up to 28th, Grant 62nd, Aaron Kearney 75th and Sweeney 85th.
“I have started the season well, straight out of the traps,” said Senior, who also collects a brand new Motocaddy and Shotsaver range finder for this win. “I will hopefully be able to get back on the Challenge Tour next year. If I keep going as I am hopefully I can progress.
“Saltman had hit a great bunker shot on the 18th at the end of his final round, but he missed a short putt to take us to a play-off. We all hit driver and the green was reachable. Fortunately enough mine found the gap between the bunkers and I was able to make three.”
Senior’s final-round 66 took him from level par after the first 18 to five under at the end of the event, which was reduced to 36 holes after the first two days were severely disrupted by heavy fog.
He was already four under at the turn, despite bogeying the fourth, and made birdies at ten and 18 to earn his place in the play-off after a bogey on 13.
Frazer began the final 18 two over par but a run of four consecutive birdies from the fifth, and three more at ten, 12 and 13 saw him sign for a seven-under 63 to take a clubhouse lead while many of the leaders completed their round.
Saltman shot 68 for a three-under first round, and knew he needed just a par on the 18th to win the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters. After a wayward tee shot he found a greenside bunker with his second, but played out of it superbly to give himself a short putt to win. However, his putt lipped out to send the event to a play-off.
Highlights of the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters premiere on Sky Sports HD on May 13 at 8pm, with repeats the following day.
On the Alps Tour, Brendan McCarroll is just two strokes off the lead after the opening round of the Open International de Rebetz.
The Donegal man shot a three under 69 to share sixth place behind Germany’s Sebastian Heisele, France’s Olivier Rozner and England’s Matt Wallace.
Headfort's Brian Casey and Co Louth's Simon Ward are tied for 83rd after two over 74s.