Swede Jarmo Sandelin celebrates first win for 18 years


Jarmo Sandelin, the joker in the Staysure Tour pack, was still in a state of shock at Mauritius airport 24 hour after registering his first victory for the best part of two decades.
It was the super Swede’s first success in 18 years although the former Ryder Cup player has always seen the funny side of the game, being renowned for his jokes, quips and one liners although he could barely hold back the tears as he picked up the prestigious MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius – trophy at the classy Constance Belle Mare Plage.
Now, out of the blue, he was laughing all the way to the bank after securing an impressive victory in the final event of the season and it was highly emotional stuff as he smashed his winless streak in style by earning himself a cool 61,400euros under the hot Mauritian sun, an outstanding combination of raw power, precision and finesse seeing him triumph.
He left all his rivals trailing as he helped himself to ten birdies with his only blips in his glorious final round 65 (-12 total ) coming at holes 9 (double bogey) and a three-putt at the signature par-3 island green 17th. 
In the end he ran out a comfortable and worthy victor, finishing three shots clear of joint overnight leader James Kingston (level par 72) who had to settle for second best and the King of the Indian Ocean swing spoils.
But the day belonged to Sandelin, who won a handful of times on the main European Tour and played in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline and told us afterwards: “I’ve been playing really well for a long time and when it mattered in Mauritus all parts of my game came together. It was a great feeling.
“This is the highlight of my senior career so far because it is one of the main tournaments. Now I am going to take a month off and then go to the US to try and qualify for a few of next year’s Champions Tour events.”
Sandelin is no stranger to success on Belle Mare Plage’s Legend course – he’s the course record holder having fired a 62 there two years ago although he only managed a couple of birdies when partnered TG’s Courses & Travel Editor in the Pro-Am!
The day also belonged to popular Welshman Phil Price who claimed his first Order of Merit title, proudly claiming the John Jacobs Trophy after a stylish 69 finish saw him secure third spot alongside last year’s champion Clark Dennis and Frenchman Jean-Francois Remesy who hoped for much more after setting a cracking early pace.
“It was very special,” said Price who like Sandelin had his son (Edward and Lukas respectively) on his bag. “I played well which was just as well because there was a chance of letting it slip through my fingers if I hadn’t finished in the top ten on my own.
“So I did my bit and got the job done. It was massive – as big as anything I’ve ever done in the game before. It’s Edward’s 19th birthday today so we’ve double reason to celebrate later on!”
The fourth and final winner was 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie (68, -4) who finished strongly, forgetting his 2nd round 74 woes by adding the Rookie-of-the-Year title to his impressive collection of prizes. Lawrie will clearly be looking for bigger things next time round.
It was a memorable end to another sparkling StaysureTour season and the big finale at a luxury resort on a paradise island in the middle of the Indian Ocean has got to be one of the coolest events in golf although players were slugging it out, most of the time, in scorching 30-degrees plus temperatures…
. Roll on the 2020 season…
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