April 22, 2024

Hensby claims Maiden Champions Tour Crown

Tamworth’s favourite golfing son, Mark Hensby, has claimed his first Champions Tour Crown with a thrilling playoff win at the Invited Celebrity Classic in Irving, Texas.

Hensby, and Korean Charlie Wi had earlier finished tied on 12 under par at the end of regulation play, with Hensby forced to make a clutch birdie on the last to force a playoff, which the 51-year-old did courtesy of a sizzling three wood from 250 metres to the back of the par-five 18th for two.

“When I got on 18, I probably hit the best shot of my day when I had to because I saw Charlie had made birdie,” a delighted Hensby said after his win.

The Playoff was a four-hole nailbiter. Hensby scrambled for par on the first extra hole before both players parred the second extra hole.

The pair had short birdie putts on the third playoff hole but missed, and then when Wi rinsed his second shot on their fourth try and registered a double bogey, Hensby clinched the victory with an easy two-putt par.

The win is Hensby’s first win on the 50-and-overs tour in just 15 starts and continues a strong run of form this year after finishing runner-up at the Trophy Hassan II in Morocco and a tie for third at the Cologuard Classic in Arizona.

“After last year almost not playing anymore and then coming out and having a good start this year, it’s nice to obviously win on this tour,” he said.

“I didn’t look up to the leaderboard until the 16th and saw I was tied for the lead. To be honest, I thought I wasn’t anywhere near it.

“When you win anywhere these days, it’s an accomplishment. So I’m obviously excited.”

Hensby has six professional victories, five in playoffs, including his lone PGA Tour win at the John Deere Classic in 2004. He also claimed the European Tour’s 2005 Scandinavian Masters in a playoff against Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

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