Brazilian Adilson Da Silva claimed his maiden title on the Legends Tour with an emphatic wire-to-wire victory at the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship.
Da Silva took a seven-shot lead into the final round and held off a challenge from former Ryder Cup player Joakim Haeggman to prevail by six strokes at Formby Golf Club on Sunday.
The South Africa-based 50-year-old, a 12-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, has now secured a Legends Tour card for next year but admitted to having considered his future in golf only recently.
“To be very honest about it, me and my wife sat down a couple of months ago and were considering opening a driving range, and that’s how things were going,” Da Silva said.
“We had some tough times and I’m glad that we hung in there. She gave me quite a lot of support to try the Legends Tour and hang in there, so I was very fortunate.”
Haeggman quickly emerged as the most likely challenger should Da Silva falter, and the Swede piled on the pressure with six birdies in his first eight holes.
But a double bogey at the par four ninth, after Haeggman found sand off the tee and then two-putted, allowed the leader to stretch his advantage to four shots once again.
Da Silva closed out the win with a flourish, birdieing 17 and 18 for a round of 70 and a final score of 18 under par, that belied his private doubts.
“Sometimes you get to a stage where you start to doubt yourself because you are just missing so many. I could feel it mentally and sometimes it’s tough,” he added.
“Anyway, somehow I managed to hang and hit one shot at a time and I was really happy to keep hitting one shot at a time and make par.”
Haeggman’s 68 ensured he finished outright second on 12 under, four shots ahead of his compatriot Michael Jonzon and Italian Emanuele Canonica in a tie for third place.
Englishmen Simon Khan and Phillip Archer shared fifth with South African James Kingston a further shot back at the PGA Seniors Championship.
In the Celebrity Series former footballer Robbie Fowler defended his title, narrowly beating ex-Formula One champion racing driver Damon Hill.