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Satisfactory start after a draining 22-hour flight

Sam Torrance
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AFTER a three-month winter lay-off, the Seniors Tour began in earnest at the Brunei Masters over the weekend, and it was great to be back competing again in a strong field.

In hindsight, preparation could have been a lot smoother – a 22-hour flight from a business trip in South Africa to Brunei took its toll on a disappointing opening round 73, which included seven bogeys. Things did get better from there, however. A second round 68 boosted confidence before I ended with a very pleasing 65, which earned me a share of fifth.

From there, I was straight on a plane to Thailand for this week’s Senior Masters. I’m confident about my game, so hopefully I can turn that into a first win of the season.

Talking of first wins, how about the performance of 18-year-old South Korean Noh Seung-yul in claiming his maiden European Tour victory in the Malaysia Open. Noh kept his head to beat Korean treasure KJ Choi on a dramatic final hole; it could have hardly gone better for him.

It was also a good week for Wales’ Rhys Davies, who, in his first season on the European Tour, all but earned his Tour card for next season with a gallant third place finish.

It was a good week also for another big talent in Camillo Villegas, who scored an excellent five-shot victory in the Honda Classic at Palm Beach, while England’s Justin Rose made a welcome return to form, finishing third.

But performance of the week has to go to my old mate Fred Couples. Beaten only by Tom Watson on his first PGA Seniors tour event, Freddy has since gone on to win the next two, shooting nothing less than 68 and pocketing a tidy $700,000. Now, that’s how to make an impression.