Barry Lane saved his best until last as he emerged victorious at the MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage, the final event of the 2016 European Senior Tour season.
Twice a runner-up, and inside the top ten on three more occasions in Mauritius, Lane produced a final round 68 to win the season-ending event by one stroke from playing partner Paul Broadhurst.
Finishing on a total of 14 under par, Lane secured his fifth Senior Tour title, and his first since 2012.
“It has been a few years since I’ve won, it means a lot to me,” said the 1993 Ryder Cup player. “I’m 57 next year, and I know I’m good, but you still have to prove it.
“Four years is a long time without a win, but it was really tough out there, I have to say.
“After having such a good start, I knew the scoring would be good. It’s such a great field and a great leaderboard when you look at it, so it’s really special to win.”
Lane started the day in a share of the lead with Broadhurst and, as he made the turn, he had a five stroke lead over a chasing pack which included Broadhurst and former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.
Bogeys on the 12th and 14th holes saw Montgomerie draw level, but a double bogey by the Scot on the 16th saw Lane move in front.
He had a two-stroke advantage on the final green and left himself three putts from within 30 feet to take the title as Broadhurst eagled the last to finish on 13 under par, in sole possession of second place, one stroke ahead of Montgomerie.
“I didn’t see many scoreboards and then suddenly I was five shots ahead. I had a bit of a wobble on the back nine, you see you’re five ahead and your mentality changes a bit.
“I knew that I needed to make four on the last, then I couldn’t be beaten, but I knew Broady would hole it for eagle because he’s a demon with the short-stick.”
Lane’s victory moves him up to fifth in the Senior Tour Order of Merit, and he is likely to receive exemption to the 2017 US Senior Open for finishing inside the top six.
“When I was told I’d moved up to fifth it really made my day,” said Lane. “I’ve played in all of them since I turned 50, and I didn’t think I could get into the top six. I’ve got three Majors next year, which is fantastic.”
Lane shared the spotlight with Broadhurst at the presentation ceremony after the tournament as the Senior Open Champion was presented with the John Jacobs Trophy for finishing first in the Order of Merit.
“It’s another goal achieved,” said Broadhurst, who won the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open on his Senior Tour debut last year.
“I set a few goals when I turned 50, to win tournaments and the Order of Merit and I’ve achieved that. It has been a great 18 months since turning 50.”