MIKE HARWOOD has continued his good form on the European Senior Tour with a runner up finish at the 2016 Willow Senior Golf Classic in England.
The 57 year old Aussie shot three consecutive rounds of 68 at the Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Hertfordshire to finish at 12-under in the 54 hole event, two behind debut English winner Gary Marks.
Despite a disappointing final round at the Scottish Senior Open last week Harwood still managed to finish fourth in that event and has now risen to 11th on the tour’s Order of Merit.
The Victorian has four top 12 finishes in seven starts on the tour this season and showed that form over the week with his 15 birdies and two eagles.
Also happy with his finish was Peter O’Malley who came home with a 7-under 65, including a 5-under in four hole stretch thanks to an eagle and three birdies from the 12th to the 15th.
He finished at 10-under tied seventh in what was his first top ten of the year.
Peter Fowler, who is fifth on the Order Merit, had a second round 65 book-ended by tow 74’s. He finished T22.
Marks (pictured), winner of this year’s Senior Tour Qualifying School, was absolutely delighted with is first win despite admitting to some nerves on the back nine.
The 52 year old began the day with a commanding five stroke lead but was pushed down the stretch and finished with a 72. His previous best was 18th at the Wales Senior Open.
“It’s the greatest day of my golfing life,” said Marks. “The strength of the field here was great, and you might have a friendly game with one of them and beat them, but I beat them all and I’ve won a major event, it’s one of the biggest events on the Senior Tour.
“This season, I’ve been up the leaderboard and then falling on a number of occasions. The Senior Open at Carnoustie was important. I put in two 70s and finished level par. Because of the scale of that event, it gave me a little extra strength.”
Marks needed to draw on that strength on the back nine as a double bogey on the par four 13th hole tested his mettle.
“It was difficult to cope with mentally,” he said. “I had a seven shot lead with the back nine to play, it suddenly got quite difficult. I had a penalty stroke and started to lose my swing a bit, it was quite tough getting over the finishing line.
“I had a four or five shot lead, but then I had another bogey after that and in your mind you start seeing things unravel, you start seeing ridiculous things. In the end, I hit enough decent shots to cross the line.”Willow Senior Golf Classic Final Results