Darren Clarke flirted with adding the British Senior Open title to his Claret Jug win of 2011, only to come up short over an old stomping ground at Sunningdale. The Northern Irishman ultimately had to settle for third place as Welshman Stephen Dodd retained his composure over the closing stretch to close the deal.
Dodd fired a final-round 68 for a total of 13-under-par 267 on the old course, which gave him a breakthrough Senior Major title.
A former winner of the Irish Open (in 2005) on the European Tour, the 55-year-old Dodd birdied the finishing hole to hold off Spain’s Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who closed with a stunning 65 to win by one stroke, with Clarke a further stroke back.
Clarke’s bid to add the senior trophy took momentum with an outward run of four birdies – at the first, second, seventh and ninth – to turn in 31, but his run was stalled with a bogey on the 10th and, although he managed a birdie on the 15th, his quest was undone with a bogey on the 16th and a failure to birdie either of the two closing holes.
Meanwhile, Brendan Lawlor carded rounds of 70-76 to win the inaugural EDGA Cazoo Open at the Celtic Manor Resort, his second success at an EDGA European Tour event.
Playing in the first of five 36-hole events forming the EDGA European Tour in 2021, the Dundalk golfer followed up his one-under-par opening round of 70 on the Twenty Ten Course, host venue of the Ryder Cup 11 years ago, with a five-over-par round of 76.
The tournament featured eight of the top-ranked players on the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) competing on the same layout as the European Tour field is tackling at the Cazoo Open, supported by Gareth Bale.
Lawlor, who has Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs, finished ahead of Italy’s Tomasso Perrino for his second victory at an EDGA European Tour event, following his win at the 2019 EDGA Scottish Open.
“It feels amazing,” said Lawlor. “It has been an incredible week, the hospitality and the course here at Celtic Manor has been amazing. To lift the trophy at the end of the week is just a pleasure, I’m delighted.”