Monday, March 30, 2009

Three former Captains add to Senior Pairings

Ryder Cup Captains Mark James, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam will headline one of the strongest fields of the 2009 European Senior Tour season when they tee up in the €300,000 inaugural Son Gual Mallorca Senior Open from May 8-10. Scotsman Torrance, the current Senior Tour Order of Merit leader, will renew his battle for supremacy with Welshman Woosnam who claimed the John Jacobs Trophy in his rookie season in 2008. In-form Torrance captured his 11th Senior Tour title -and his second in three appearances – in the last Senior Tour tournament when he won the DGM Barbados Open by four strokes. The 2002 Ryder Cup winning Captain, winner of 21 titles on The European Tour, also won the 2008 season ending OKI Castellón Open España – Senior Tour Championship and has targeted succeeding Woosnam as the Senior Tour Number One, having topped the Order of Merit himself in 2005 and 2006.Woosnam heads to Son Gual Golf in Palma hoping to add to the two Senior Tour titles he won in 2008 at the Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship and Russian Seniors Open. Those victories helped the 2006 Ryder Cup winning Captain and former World Number One become the first former Harry Vardon Trophy winner on The European Tour to win the John Jacobs Trophy on the Senior Tour and he has now set his sights on back-to-back Order of Merit crowns. James, meanwhile, returns to Europe to make his first Senior Tour appearance of the 2009 season in Majorca looking to claim the €45,000 first prize. The 55 year old Englishman, European Team Captain at the 1999 Ryder Cup in Brookline, is searching for his second Senior Tour victory following his win in the European Senior Masters in 2005. James also has three US Champions Tour victories to his name including the Ford Senior Players Championship in 2004.The trio of Ryder Cup Captains will be joined in the field by many other of the leading Senior Tour players including former Ryder Cup players Gordon J Brand of England, who finished second behind Woosnam in the 2008 Order of Merit, Italian Costantino Rocca and Ireland’s Des Smyth. All-time leading Senior Tour career money winner Carl Mason, a three time John Jacobs Trophy winner, makes his first appearance of the new season as he attempts to continue his run of winning in each of his seasons on the Senior Tour. Zimbabwean Tony Johnstone, winner of the 2008 Jersey Seniors Classic, also returns to action having spent the winter commentating in South Africa for Sky Sports. The impressive field is one of the strongest to assemble on the Spanish island and will tackle the Thomas Himmel designed course which is owned by the Pamer family from Germany, with Langer Sport Marketing managing and promoting the event. Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the Senior Tour, said: “With entries soon to close for the inaugural Son Gual Mallorca Senior Open we are already delighted with the present quality of the field, which is certain to create a great deal of interest in Mallorca and help raise the island’s profile as a first class golfing destination.”

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