This year’s MCB Championship was hotly contested and ended in memorable fashion with audiences and sports journalists alike rivited by the final day’s action. For Matt Cooper’s view of the event see see his article ‘Wesselingh emerges as winner’. Meanwhile, below Mark Samson wraps up his take on the exciting MCB finale.
Follow the leader
It was a day where a betting man would have focussed on the final pairing of Frost and Wesselingh to take the trophy home, which was also the main reason the crowds followed the pairing. As the day progressed it seemed neither of them were playing particularly well until Wesselingh chipped in at the par four 12th for his second birdie of the back nine, increasing expectations of appreciative crowd.
At the same time however, Barry Lane, flying under the radar was gaining momentum and posted an impressive nine under par to hold the clubhouse lead. His score included five birdies, one of which came on the par five 18th, unbeknown to him a hole he would be playing again.
Unfortunately for Frost it was more a case of what might have been with very few putts dropping and some wayward drives costing him the chance of winning the tournament for a second time.
Everything to play for
When Wesselingh arrived on the 18th on 10 under par all he needed was a par to raise the trophy. Uncharacteristically, he showed the first sign of nerves and three-putted from no more then 20 feet away, to end on nine under with Barry Lane. And so begun a record equalling play-off for the most holes played on the European Senior Tour, matching that of Gordon J Brand when defeating his namesake Gordon Brand Jnr in the De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship in 2008.
As the sun dipped behind the clouds during the sixth time of playing the hole, both players missed the green right. Lane mishit his chip and hit his birdie putt just further then tap-in distance. Wesselingh then missed a very makeable birdie putt and thought he had thrown it away, however Lane’s ball lipped out for par. Wesselingh then stepped up to make sure of his par and to win his second consecutive MCB Tour Championship.
A relieved and clearly fatiguing Wesselingh as graceful as ever simply mentioned he was proud of his achievement and felt like he had just stepped out of a boxing ring. Next year’s MCB Tour Championship promises to be even better and bigger, but how to try improve on this year’s exciting finish is the question.
Article by Mark Samson