Ronnie Clark wins Scottish Seniors Open in play-off

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Erskine’s Ronnie Clark secured his first national title after claiming the Scottish Senior Men’s Open Championship in a play-off at Irvine.

Clark closed with a 73 to finish tied for first with English duo Andrew Atkinson (Windermere) and Richard Patridge (Wildernesse) on five-over 221 in the 54-hole event.

The Scot then prevailed in a sudden-death shoot-out to go one better in the event than 2016 and also keep the title in home hands after it was won last year at Royal Burgess by Downfield’s Graham Bell.

“I’ve been close in the past so it’s truly great to have made it this year to win my first national title,” admitted a delighted Clark.

“I’ve had an amazing time playing this week and always enjoy playing in this competition. “It’s really competitive but is always played in such a great spirit. You really get a sense of the camaraderie here.”

After opening with scores of 75 and 73, Clark started the final round two shots behind Partridge, who then relinquished his lead by going out in 40.

Clark was on course to claim the title in regulation play after he made a birdie-2 at the 16th only to then finish bogey-bogey.

In contrast, Partridge and Atkinson both birdied the last but it was the Scot who eventually prevailed, joining the likes of Charlie Green and Ian Hutcheon on the trophy.

“I played well across the first two days, but just couldn’t putt for some reason,” added the winner.

“I tried not to look at the scoreboard during play as I wasn’t sure how well I was going.

“But, when I heard my playing partners egging me on towards the end, I knew I must be in contention.”