South Africa’s Chris Williams came close to securing his first Seniors title since 2008, but had to settle for sixth place in the end after a final round two-over-par 72 at the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open.
Playing on the par-70 Roman Road layout at Celtic Manor Resort, the English-born Williams had bolted to the top of the leaderboard on Friday with an opening round five-under-par 65 which he followed with a 68 to maintain his lead going into the final round.
The 57-year-old ended 2015 in outstanding fashion with four top-30 finishes in his last four starts. The pinnacle of those finishes was a tie for third at the season ending MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius. Starting his season last week at the Senior PGA Championship, The Edenvale resident ended in a tie for 39th before heading to Wales.
The final round unfortunately did not go the way of Williams as the nine-time Sunshine Tour winner faltered badly on the front and seemed to be stuck in neutral on the home stretch.
He eagled the ninth and birdied the fifth, but this came on the back of three bogeys and a double.
The 2002 Telkom PGA Champion picked up a birdie at the 11th on his way home but nothing more materialized until a bogey at the closing hole left Williams wondering what could have been.
Seniors debutant James Kingston performed admirably to finish in a tie for 11th, 11 shots behind the winner Lianwei Zhang who finished at 12-under-par.
Kingston seemed to put his injury nightmares behind him after shooting rounds of 69, 70, and 70 to end at one-under-par for the tournament. The 50-year-old will hope it is a sign of things to comes a he tees it up at the Jersey Open, this week on the European Senior Tour.
Zhang won by three shots in the end over Paul Broadhurst after shooting a scintillating eight-under-par 62 in the final round.