Magnus P Atlevi secured his second Staysure Tour title in style at the European Tour Properties Senior Classic, securing a wire-to-wire victory at Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort.
The Swede travelled to Bulgaria having finished runner-up to Philip Golding at the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship a month earlier, and was searching for his first win since his triumph at the Paris Legends Championship in 2016.
A single blemish in a fantastic opening five under par round of 66 meant he took a one-shot lead into the second round on the Black Sea coast, with Peter Baker and Stephen Dodd a stroke behind on four under par.
After taking the lead, Atlevi, like many others, headed for the range to hone their skills ahead of the second round but he was not content with your usual post-round practice.
The right-hander pulled out a left-handed driver from his practice bag and started hitting shots in order to re-balance his body and reduce the risk of injury to muscles he uses in his day-to-day play.
The 53-year-old picked up where he left off on Friday by carding a four under par front nine to extend his lead at the summit in Bulgaria. Three further birdies and a pair of bogeys arrived on the back nine as he signed for another five under par round, meaning the Swede took a two-shot advantage over Englishman Baker and Wales’ Dodd into the final round.
The final round turned out to be a two-horse race, with Dodd pushing the Swede all the way in pursuit of victory.
Atlevi started the final round quickly by firing three birdies in his first five holes, but three bogeys over the next five meant the momentum swung towards Dodd, who took the lead with a par at the tenth.
But the 2016 Paris Legends Champion then bounced back as the final group headed towards home. Three successive birdies and a further gain at the 16th meant he approached the 18th with a one-shot lead. As it transpired, Dodd carded a double bogey at the final hole and Atlevi safely holed out for par and wire-to-wire victory.
Speaking after securing first place, Atlevi said: “I am really happy, especially because I bounced back. I had a good start and it was all going according to plan and then things went sideways and continued going sideways.
“I lost the lead and somehow managed to bounce back with the birdies on the back nine. It’s a good feeling.
“I dropped a few shots because the guys were making long putts for birdies and I could just see it going the wrong way for me.
“I made 12 and 13 from ten metres and then I stiffed it on 14, which was crucial. That was the par three where I made bogeys on the previous two days. I was 166 metres from the hole, and I played a full six iron to three feet, so it was probably the shot of the week.”