How the top golfers have played in the European Senior Tour season so far

Players have been arriving at Constance Belle Mare Plage over the last few days, in readiness for the conclusion of the 2013 European Senior Tour season.

The MCB Tour Championship, which is staged at the resort’s Legends GC, will be the 16th event of the year. Here’s the story of the Road to Mauritius:

The headliner is England’s Paul Wesselingh, who was Rookie of the Year in 2012, and currently leads the Order of Merit after three stunning victories in his second year. He started off with a five-shot win in the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship in June, added the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in July and snatched top spot in the money list with victory in last month’s Fubon Senior Open in Taiwan.

Fellow Englishman Simon P Brown has bagged two wins. His first, the Russian Open Senior Golf Championship, came after he recorded a bogey, double bogey and three birdies in a wild final five holes. If that win was rollercoaster-like, his second was an armchair ride, with the final day of the Dutch Senior Open being washed out and Brown crowned champion watching the rain fall in the clubhouse.

Steen Tinning leads Brown in the race to become Rookie of the Year, following victories in the Berenberg Masters in Koln (when he broke the hearts of the locals to defeat Bernhard Langer) and the English Senior Open. The Dane has also competed in this year’s European Ironman Championship, proving the adage that you’re only as old as you feel.

Poolside tee off - Colin Montgomerie entertains the crowds at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Poolside tee off – Colin Montgomerie entertains the crowds at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The majors have been a curious affair. American Kenny Perry made a habit of throwing away major championship wins on the main tour and did so again in May’s US Senior PGA Championship. That allowed the wonderfully named Kohki Idoki to become Japan’s first ever winner of a male major championship.

Perry made amends in June, claiming the US Senior Open Championship, before the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex witnessed the most remarkable finish of the year. Unheralded American Mark Wiebe defeated Bernhard Langer in a bizarre play-off at Royal Birkdale which started in the dark, was halted in pitch dark and was concluded early next morning.

Of all those mentioned above only Wesselingh had previously claimed victory on this tour and the pattern of maiden winners continued all year. England’s Philip Golding denied home favourite Ian Woosnam in the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl (host of next year’s Senior Open) and Spain’s Santiago Luna, who once famously defeated Tiger Woods at St Andrews, returned to the old town and left with the SSE Scottish Senior Open trophy.

But the most noteworthy of all was Colin Montgomerie’s first senior win in the Travis Perkins plc Senior Open. Playing on one of his favourite courses, the Duke’s at Woburn, he cruised to a six-shot victory.

There were comeback wins for Gordon Brand Jr in the WINSTONgolf Senior Open (his first for three years) and Australian Peter Fowler in the French Riviera Masters (who hadn’t won since claiming the 2011 Order of Merit).

To launch the week the leading performers hit balls from the poolside at Belle Mare Plage towards the island out at sea. Colin Montgomerie entertained the assembled crowd and they’re hoping he’ll be doing the same in the main event which starts on Friday. Follow #MCBGolf on social media to find out more.

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Brown is singing in the rain after Dutch Senior Open victory

Simon P Brown has won his second European Senior Tour title in adverse weather conditions at the Dutch Senior Open.

Simon P Brown

Simon P Brown (Getty images)

Torrential rain on the first day of play and over night on the second at the International in Amsterdam led to the tournament being halted, granting the English-born Brown victory after only two days play.

This is Brown’s first season in the European Senior Tour. The victory puts him fourth in the Order of Merit which could secure him a place in the top six at the end of the Tour, earning him an exemption to all the Senior Majors of 2014.

With just one event to go before the MCB Championship, held in Mauritius at Constance Belle Mare Plage in December, Steen Tinning still has his eye on the Jacobs Trophy, leading the Order of Merit by just under €10,000 ahead of the nearest contender Paul Wesselingh.

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Danish Iron Man Steen Tinning wins again

Danish golfer Steen Tinning secured his second victory of the season at the English Senior Open last weekend.

Legend Golf Course, Mauritius

Legend Golf Course, Mauritius

The win takes him to the top of the Order of Merit with only three events remaining making him a serious contender for first place at the MCB Championship held at Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius in December.

This is Tinning’s first season in the European Tour but being a rookie didn’t stop him fending off Santiago Luna of Spain for a one stroke victory at Rockliffe Hall.

Tinning claimed his Iron Man training gave him an edge helping him to stay focused and finish at 17 under par in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 spectators.

Read the full story of Tinning’s exciting victory on the European Tour website.

Rookie Simon Brown wins Russian Open

Englishman Simon Brown celebrated his eighth senior tour appearance with a win at the Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior) at the Moscow Country Club.

Simon Brown wins the Russian Open

Simon Brown wins the Russian Open

In constant driving rain Brown held off runners-up Mike Harwood and Carl Mason with a 12 under par 204 total.

Having spent most of his golfing career as a professional at Rhein-Sieg Golf Club in Germany, the 55-year-old Brown described his win in Moscow as ‘life changing’.

Thanks to the €97,305 winner’s prize at Moscow, Brown moves from 51st to fifth in the European Senior Tour Order of Merit.

Scotsman Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Martin and Steen Tinning made up a three-way tie for third place.

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European Senior Tour celebrates a second Scottish victory

Gordon Brand Jnr claimed the second Scottish Senior Tour victory in consecutive weeks at the Winston Golf Senior Open in Germany.

Gordon Brand Jnr

Gordon Brand Jnr

The win was Brand’s second European Senior Tour title and was a cause of celebration for Scottish supporters as it came hot on the heels of Colin Mongomerie’s win at the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters.

Brand left it to the final round to seal his victory with six birdies to come in 12 under par on a day which looked like belonging to fellow Scot, Andrew Oldcorn, who’d racked up an impressive 11 birdies.

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Colin Montgomerie storms to victory at Travis Perkins plsc Senior Masters

Scotsman Colin Montgomerie claimed his first win on the European Senior Tour as he stormed to a six-shot victory at the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters.

Colin Montgomerie storms victorious at Senior Masters

Colin Montgomerie storms victorious at Senior Masters

Montgomerie only became eligible to play senior golf when he turned 50 in June this year, and his win at Woburn has come in just his seventh event.

Spain’s Miguel Angel Martin was runner-up along with Paul Wesselingh, who came in with a best of the week 66, on four under par.

Montgomerie’s win is proof that he will become a key player on the European Senior Tour after a hugely successful career on The European Tour, with 31 titles and eight Order of Merits.

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