Williams wins maiden senior title

South African Chris Williams has claimed his maiden European Senior Tour title in Brunei with a stunning final-round 64.

South African Chris Williams has claimed his maiden European Senior Tour title at the Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters with a stunning final-round 64.

Williams finished second to Boonchu Ruagnkit on the Senior Tour Order of Merit list last year after a series of near misses, but on Sunday he succeeded Ruangkit as the senior champion of Brunei after charging back on the final day at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Williams was “hugely relieved” to finally get his hands on a trophy after his 12 top 10 finishes last year.

“The first one is always the hardest,” he said. “I’ve been runner up three times and close on a number of other occasions so people do start to talk about it. It’s nice to get that monkey off your back.

“My last victory was in 2003 (on the Sunshine Tour) and you do begin to wonder if you will ever win again. To do it against players of the calibre I competed again on The European Tour – Barry Lane, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance – is extra special.

“I always felt like I was capable of winning but someone would always play better than me on the last day or have a crucial putt so it’s great to finally do it.”

The 51-year-old started the final day at The Empire Hotel and Country Club five strokes behind overnight leader Jamnian Chitprasong, but a superb 310-yard rescue approach shot to four feet for an eagle on the second hole launched his fightback.

Chitprasong slipped back into a fourth place finish after a closing 73 and while Williams did have a minor setback on the fourth where he missed a short par putt, he did not allow that to end his challenge.

Birdies on the sixth and ninth holes sent the South African through the turn in 35 and four straight birdies from the 12th hole and another at 18 put him at 12-under 201 for the 54-hole event and wrapped up the title, one shot clear of Korean Sang-ho Choi with Australian Mike Harwood a further shot off the pace on ten under par.

“I used a lot of visualisation today, seeing the putts going in,” he said.

“When I missed the short one on the fourth I went back in my mind and holed it. Whereas in other tournaments people have played better than me to win, I just played better today.

“I thought I was going to have to shoot low today and I’m delighted to have done it.”

Defending champion Ruangkit was tied 11th after a final round 69, while Lyle finished in a share of 18th place on three under par after signing the same score.