Queensland golfer Mike Ferguson has won the inaugural Greater Building Society Australian Masters Invitational at the Emerald Lakes Golf Club on the Gold Coast.
Hs final round 71 left him two shots clear of in form New Zealander Stuart Reese and tournament drawcard Ian Baker-Finch.
Ferguson earned $30,000 for his victory in the seniors event (50 plus) in addition to a brand new Yamaha golf cart valued at $10,000.
Ferguson has been a senior golfer for seven years but this is his first victory since the 2006 NZ Senior PGA Championship. In earlier years he won two Australian Senior Open Championships.
“This is totally unexpected,” he said after the win. “I picked up a new Nickent driver this week and it has been working great.” Ferguson made a fast start to the final round with four birdies in his first six holes and was matching strides with Reese who had made a similar start.
Reese, a former New Zealand PGA Champion, had previously given tournament golf away for 16 years after losing confidence in his swing. He was staging a big comeback and led the tournament after the first round with a stunning six under 66.
However, on the final day Ferguson drew clear over the closing stages as Reese dropped several shots in the middle of his back nine.
Former British Open winner Ian Baker-Finch was delighted with his round and with the thrill of being in the hunt again. He came from a long way back with his final round of 68 and was one of only two players to break 70 in the increasingly difficult conditions.
“I felt like I was a player again,” said Baker-Finch. “The juices were flowing and while I know there are many could haves and should haves I truly felt the round could have been even better.”
New Zealander Craig Owen finished in a share of 4th with New South Welshman John Clifford.
In Thursday night’s Daikin Night Golf Shootout local golfer Brian Jones defeated one of his old sparring partners from his Japan Golf Tour days, Graham Marsh, and collected the first prize of $6,000. Ian Baker Finch dropped out at the 8th hole of the 9 hole contest when a chip off was required to determine the two players who would advance to the final hole.