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Da Silva and Horne were tied on -15 after 54 holes, but the Brazilian secured the trophy after knocking his approach to eight feet and holing the birdie putt when the pair went back up the 18th. Horne, who won the Legends Tour Qualifying School in January, left himself short-sided over a greenside bunker with his approach, but runner-up is a positive start in the opening event of the season.
“It’s incredible,” said da Silva, who got his first victory at last year’s Staysure PGA Seniors Championship. “This place, the people, the play-off. It’s amazing.”
“I try not to look at leaderboards. I knew it was getting closer, but I didn’t want to know. I stayed very focussed on what I was doing. Some days you just see the lines on the greens, and you hit it there and it goes in.”
The Brazilian was awarded the Barry Lane Rookie of the Year last season and it was fitting that he won at the club and tournament where Lane had acted as an ambassador before he sadly passed away after a short illness late last year.
Da Silva acknowledged Lane in his winner’s speech, and later added: “It means a lot (to win here). To have Barry Lane there in Mauritus to give me the Rookie of the Year award was so special.”
Da Silva got himself into the play-off with wonderful 66. He birdied the opening hole and reeled off five red numbers on the bounce from the 6th to take the lead. A bogey at the 15th dropped him back into a tie at the top with Horne and Paul Streeter, before a birdie at 17 and par at 18 gave him a 66.
South Africa’s Horne made it three 67s in a row to finish the week on -15. He went bogey-free and birdied all four of the par-5s, as well as the 17th, to force the play-off with da Silva.
Paul Streeter had a two-shot advantage going into the final round, but he endured a tough front nine of 38 strokes to fall three shots behind the lead, before a resurgence that featured birdies at 10, 11 and 14 got him back into a share of the lead with three to play. He finished with three pars to finish in 3rd on -14.
Phillip Archer closed with a 67 to finish in 4th place on -13 and three-time DP World Tour winner Anders Hansen was 5th on -12.
Visit www.legendstour.com to see the full final leaderboard and Order of Merit standings after the first event of the season. The Legends Tour heads to the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at PGA Frisco, Texas, next week, and then returns to Europe for the Jersey Legends at La Moye GC on June 8th-11th.