PETER FOWLER hit a course record eight under 63 to snatch the 2011 Finance Brokers of Tasmania Senior Open yesterday from defending champion Michael Harwood.
Playing in just his second senior event in Australia, the 51 year old former Australian Open winner finished with a two round total of five under 137 (74-63).
Happily accepting the championship trophy, it was clear Fowler was delighted to be out playing with some old mates.
“It is great to see my fellow professionals out here that I have been playing with over the years,” he said.
“This is the first time I have been back here in 27 years and the course was just sensational over the two days.”
Fowler, who won the 1983 Australian Open and was a European Tour winner, also thanked runner up and overnight leader Harwood for a putting tip.
Harwood, seeking his third Tasmanian Senior Open on the trot, recorded a 1 under par 70 in very gusty conditions during the first round on Sunday to share the overnight lead with fellow Victorian Greg Dowling.
“Thanks for the putting tip last night on the putting green. You must have thought you were safe out in front,” Fowler told him.
Fowler’s round of 63 broke the long standing course record held since 1991 by Elliott Booth.
Harwood was full of praise for the long time Kiwi resident.
“I played well, but that was a terrific round but Chook. If he is going to play like that this year, he may as well stay in New Zealand,” Harwood said.
Rodger Davis (Qld) and Roger Stephens (SA) shared third position with rounds of 72-72-144.
The leading amateur was Queenslander Robert Watson with rounds of 73-75-148.
Local Steve Frith finished on eight over to be the leading Tasmanian.
Many of the senior pros backed up today with the Tasmanian PGA Pro-Am series getting underway at Bothwell. The series will travel from Bothwell to Country Club Launceston (Wednesday), Exeter (Thursday), Launceston (Friday), Stanley (Saturday) and finishes at Port Sorrell on Sunday.
The relatively small field of amateurs who took part in this event will be bolstered with the arrival today of many of Australia’s top senior amateur golfers for the 2011 Tasmanian Senior Amateur Championship which begins Wednesday at the Mowbray Golf Club in Launceston.
Defending champion Stefan Albinski will face some stiff opposition from a large field over the three day event.