Archerfield was the scene for one of the most memorable moments of European Senior Tour history this week as debutant Paul Broadhurst teed off in his first senior event and secured victory with a tense playoff against one of the most inform players, 2015 Swiss Seniors Open winner, Gordon Manson.
Having only turned 50 a couple of weeks ago Paul was chomping at the bit to get back out and compete with familiar adversaries including Carl Mason, Barry Lane, Gordon Brand Jnr and Des Smyth. Paul's first round got underway with a couple of opening birdies at the 5th and 6th, however a bogey at the 7th before a double at the 14th gave Paul an opening round of level par, 72, not a bad days work in relatively dreadful weather conditions.
After a good nights sleep Paul's second round got off to a flying start and 5 birdies on his front nine holes he was soon at the top of the leaderboard, and not event a bogey, double, par, bogey finish to the round could halt his ascent as he topped the leaderboard heading into the closing round.
The last round, playing alongside Manson both tied on three under par, Paul traded blows and hit the turn in five under par, Gordon then pulled away and Paul needed to make birdie at the last hole to try and force a playoff. Having hit it in the bunker off the tee Paul could only advance the ball about 100 yards down the fairway leaving himself a 4 iron into the par 5 18th green, hitting one of the best shots of the week to 25 foot, Paul duly knocked it in and they were back down the 18th.
The first playoff hole resulted in a tie, halved in birdie fours but it was Paul who prevailed at the second time of asking hitting his pitch close and keeping his nerve over the final 4 foot putt to make birdie and clinch victory, joining an elite group of players who have won on their first outing on the European Senior Tour.
On his win, Paul commented:
“I have to admit I’m a bit surprised because I’ve got a dreadful play-off record. I mean it’s dreadful. Absolutely dire. I was two from 12 before today and none from four on the European Tour, so I suppose you could say I was due one.
“This means a lot to me. It’s been nine years since I won a tournament as big as this so I’m a bit emotional at the moment. I want to dedicate it to Dave Baxter, a real big pal of mine who died earlier this year. He travelled around the world with me so it’s a shame he isn’t around to see this today.”
Paul now heads to Woburn GC to take part in the Travis Perkins Masters, in a bid to stop Ryder Cup colleague and former European Tour opponent Colin Montgomerie taking home the title for the third consecutive time.
Everyone at Champions of Golf congratulates Paul on his wonderful achievement in Scotland and wishes him all the best for Woburn this week.