Lafeber shows Dutch courage

MAARTEN LAFEBER paid tribute to his supporters after becoming the first home winner of the Dutch Open for more than half a century with a nerve-wracking victory at Hilversum.

Lafeber, who lives in nearby Amsterdam, carded a final-round 67 to also claim his maiden European Tour title in the perfect fashion and delight the large crowd.

The 28-year-old's 13-under-par total of 267 gave him the first prize of £116,000 with Denmark's Soren Hansen and Swede Mathias Gronberg sharing second, two shots behind.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson finished joint fourth on 10 under alongside another Dane, Steen Tinning, who eagled the last in his penultimate event before retiring with a back injury.

Lafeber said: "The support was incredible unbelievable for four days. I just want to thank them all.

"It was a dream come true, it feels incredible. I don't know what to say. I played really solid golf.

Carl Mason ended the season in impressive style by carding a six under par 65 to claim his fourth victory in 11 starts at the Estoril Seniors Tour Championship over the Oitavos course at Quinta da Marinha near Lisbon.

Ireland's Liam Higgins closed with a level par 71 to win the prize awarded to the leading golfer age 60 or over, finishing in a share of sixth place, two shots ahead of England's David Creamer.

Mason started the final round two shots ahead of Australia's Terry Gale and England's Keith Macdonald but doubled that advantage with birdies at the 172 yard par three third and the 435 yard par four fifth.

He went on to record four further birdies at the 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th to finish eight shots ahead of MacDonald, Australia's Noel Ratcliffe and Japan's Dragon Taki an 11 under par aggregate of 202.

Gale bogeyed the last to card a one over par 72 and drop back into a share of fifth place with England's Ian Mosey.

Mason has been in spectacular form since turning 50 at the end of June and the Englishman's fourth victory was worth £26,023 and took his earnings for the season to £242,505.

That eclipsed Seiji Ebihara's previous Seniors Tour money record set last year when the Japanese golfer finished first on the Order of Merit with £207,339.

Welshman Craig Williams sank a stunning 40 foot putt to win a four man, sudden death play off and capture the inaugural Ryder Cup Wales Challenge at the De Vere Northop Country Park Golf Club.

Williams, 25, who secured a cheque for £20,000, birdied the first extra hole to pip the English trio of Robert Coles, Robert Rock and Sam Walker for the title, after all four men had completed the regulation 72 holes in 17 under par 267.

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