Stephen Dodd birdied the 72nd hole at Sunningdale Golf Club to secure a shocking win at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex.
The Welshman was deadlocked with Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez through 71 holes but a perfect approach to 10 feet led to a birdie and a 68 to reach 13-under par, one stroke clear of the Spaniard.
The 55-year-old’s victory was a stunner to say the least as he’d only teed it up one time all season, and hadn’t really been a factor, seriously, since 2018.
“I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet,” said Dodd. “It’s been quite a tough day. Wasn’t playing great. So I’m sure on the drive home I’m reflect on it all and I’ll be a very happy person when I get back home later tonight.
“This could be the only chance I get to win, so tried my best to hole it. Thankfully for me it went in, so it was a nice way to finish for me.
“Just wanted to try and enjoy it. I said yesterday I’ve not played any competitive golf – well, one tournament in 18 or 19 months, so there’s no real competitive golf behind me, so I didn’t know what to expect this week, and even today, I didn’t play great today, like a few of the previous days, so I just ground it out and made a few silly mistakes and made up with a couple decent shots and some putts.”
Jimenez, the 2018 champion, posted a 5-under par 65 to finish second on 12-under par with Northern Irishman Darren Clarke third on 11-under par.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer made a late charge for a fifth Senior Open title, but a bogey on No. 17 ended his hopes, as he finished solo fourth on 9 under.
England’s Paul Broadhurst, who won on his Senior Open debut in 2016, rounded out the top-5 money makers on 8 under following a Sunday 69.
The 2021 Rolex Senior Open
Final-Round Leaderboard: Top-10
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 4)
1. Stephen Dodd -13 (-2)
2. Miguel Angel Jimenez -12 (-5)
3. Darren Clarke -11 (-3)
4. Bernhard Langer -9 (-2)
5. Paul Broadhurst -8 (-1)
6. Jerry Kelly -7 (+2)
7. Ricardo Gonzalez -5 (-1)
8. Ernie Els -4 (+2)
8. Wes Short Jr. -4 (E)
8. Yoshinobu Tsukada -4 (+1)
European Tour Media press releases, post-round notes, transcripts, and statistics were used to compile this report.