Carl Mason became the most prolific winner in the history of the European Senior Tour by lifting his 24th title at the OKI Open de España Senior by Cleveland / Srixon.
The Englishman broke the record previously held by Tommy Horton with an overwhelming performance at the El Vale Golf Resort in Murcia, Spain, winning the title by four shots with a display befitting the most successful player to play on the Senior Tour.
Holding a one shot lead over Bill Longmuir going into the final round, Mason put on a ruthless front nine display of 32 (four under) to take a stranglehold on his record-breaking victory. Four birdies in the space of five holes allowed him to cruise home in 36 for a final round 68 and a four shot winning aggregate of 13 under 200.
England’s George Ryall emerged from the pack with a brilliant 65 to take second place on nine under, one ahead of Longmuir and two clear of fourth-placed John Harrison, who carded a final round 66.
But the day belonged to Mason, who vowed to celebrate the “highlight of my career” over a couple of drinks with his Senior Tour colleagues.
“It has to be the highlight of my career,” said Mason who added another €30,000 to his record Senior Tour career earnings of €2,183,751. “I will be having a couple of beers tonight and enjoying the victory. It has been a great day for me.
“It was very tough out there today with a lot of crosswinds and a tricky course so to make the start I did with four birdies on the front nine was a great effort. That meant I could take it easy on the back nine and not make any silly mistakes. I managed to do that and actually was able to enjoy the victory – there haven’t been too many like that in the 24!”
Mason’s trophy-laden Senior Tour career took off during his maiden season on the circuit in 2003. The 57 year old won four times en route to winning The John Jacobs Trophy – awarded to the Order of Merit winner – for the first time as he established himself as a dominant force in Europe.
He defended the John Jacobs Trophy successfully in 2004 and then finished runner-up to Sam Torrance in both 2005 and 2006 before reclaiming his last Order of Merit title in 2007.
“It has been one hell of a run,” added Mason, taking a sip of a well-earned and suitably chilled beer. “I am delighted to have finally got the 24th win because it has been hanging over me a little bit. I never would have expected to beat Tommy’s record when I started out on the Senior Tour – I can’t believe I have done it to be honest.”
European Senior Tour http://www.europeantour.com/seniortour/index.html