The 2019 Staysure Tour was full of thrilling golf played at special locations around the world. Here, we take a look at some of the moments which you might have missed from last year.
Watson waves goodbye to links golf
Golf legend and five-time Open Champion Tom Watson retired from competitive links golf at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Royal Lytham & St Annes last summer. The American, who lifted the Claret Jug in 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983, before winning The Senior Open Presented by Rolex three times, waved goodbye to links golf in an emotional farewell.
Watson came up the final hole of the second round thinking he needed to make par to make the cut. In a bad position off the tee, the five-time Champion Golfer of the Year dialled in his third shot at the par four 18th, getting up and down from 169 yards for par.
Weekend rounds of 72-73 saw Watson bow out to raucous applause as the greatest links golfer of all time brought a chapter of his career to a close.
Fowler wins eye-catching trophy
Peter Fowler won his seventh Staysure Tour title at the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles in 2019, lifting the title at the age of 60. However, it was the design of the trophy which gained the most attention with the picture going worldwide on social media.
The MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles trophy is inspired by the coco der mer – the nut of Seychelles. The nut and its fruit are indigenous to Praslin, Seychelles and the trophy for the event, which made its second appearance on the Staysure Tour at Constance Lemuria, is depicting the nut of the coco der mer.
First time champions
There were 16 winners on the Staysure Tour in 2019, including three players who won twice during the season. Out of the 16 champions, six Staysure Tour stars won their maiden over 50s title last year.
Peter Baker claimed the inaugural Senior Open Hauts de France by Jean van de Velde in June, before José Coceres lifted the Swiss Seniors Open trophy at the beginning of July. Spain’s José Manuel Carriles followed the trend a week later when he won the European Tour Destinations Senior Classic.
Paul Lawrie, The 1999 Open Champion, playing in his first Staysure Tour campaign, clinched his maiden title on home soil at the Scottish Senior Open. A year after making his debut in the senior ranks, Thomas Levet sealed his first Staysure Tour victory at the Farmfoods European Senior Masters hosted by Peter Baker, while Jarmo Sandelin ended the season by winning the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius for his first over 50s title.
Jean Baptiste makes history
In November, the MCB Tour Championship – Madagascar became the first European Tour-sanctioned event to take place on the fourth largest island in the world. It was the first leg of the three event final series MCB Tour Championship.
As well as Madagascar making its debut on the Staysure Tour, Jean Baptiste Ramarozatovo also wrote his name into the history books when he became the first Madagascan player to tee it up on the over 50s circuit.
The 52-year-old recorded rounds of 69-75-69 to finish in a share of seventh place and attracted hordes of local support to International Golf Club Du Rova.
During the 2019 Staysure Tour season England’s Nick Job broke the record for the most appearances on the over 50s circuit. Denis O’Sullivan held the previous record of 306 appearances but at the WINSTONgolf Senior Open, five-time Staysure Tour winner Job surpassed that record.
He would tee it up at a further five tournaments in the latter stages of the year to stretch the record to 313 events and will look to extend it once again in the 2020 campaign.
Senior Major man
Bernhard Langer is arguably the Staysure Tour player of the decade and in 2019 he won The Senior Open Presented by Rolex for the fourth time to break away from two of golf’s greats – Tom Watson and Gary Player – who have both won the Senior Major three times.
The German’s summer success also saw him move to an unprecedented 11 Senior Major titles.