Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Torrance returns to the Home of Golf

Scotland’s Sam Torrance is relishing returning to the ‘Home of Golf’ when the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open is played at Fairmont St. Andrews for the first time from August 21-23 on the course he helped redesign. The former Ryder Cup winning Captain will have the advantage of a close insight of the Torrance Course which bears his signature as he aims to improve on his runners up finish behind Peter Mitchell last year. The Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open will be the first professional championship to be staged at Fairmont St Andrews following its £17million revamp, with the Torrance course set to re-open on July 14. Torrance, who won his home Senior Open at Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club in 2006, believes the Fairmont St. Andrews will be the perfect host venue for the 17th edition of the Scottish Senior Open and will provide a stern test for his fellow European Senior Tour professionals. He said: “They’ve done a fantastic job on The Torrance course. They’ve rebunkered it and put in an aerated water system, so it’s looking fantastic and will be a great test. “It’s always nice to go back to the Home of Golf and I’m looking forward to it. I fancy my chances.” Torrance will start as one of the favourites at Fairmont St. Andrews having already won the DGM Barbados Open this season – his 11th Senior Tour title – as he chases his third Order of Merit victory after lifting the John Jacobs Trophy in both 2005 and 2006. The 21-time European Tour champion will hope to succeed Englishman Mitchell, who captured the second of his three titles in 2008 in the Scottish Senior Open. Mitchell shared Torrance’s enthusiasm for the event moving to Fairmont St. Andrews, which will be an Open Qualifying course when The Open Championship returns to the Home of Golf in 2010. He said: “I’m looking forward to defending. I’d like to be playing a little better than I am at the moment – one or two things aren’t quite right. Me and my equipment aren’t quite getting on – my new clubs are too upright - but hopefully I will get that sorted out before we go to Fairmont and I’ll be alright. “I don’t know what to expect this year as I’ve not played the golf course but it will be great to go back to the Home of Golf. Last year was a great win for me. My expectations were quite low going in but I managed to hold Sam off. “In Scotland the crowds are always great and they are very knowledgeable. They are very keen about their golf.” As well as a new host venue, the Scottish Senior Open has a new title sponsor for 2009 with leading golf manufacturer Srixon Sports Europe, which operates both the Cleveland & Srixon brands in the UK and Europe, strengthening its existing association with the European Senior Tour. Cleveland is already the Official Club of the Senior Tour and Srixon is the Official Ball Supplier to the Senior Tour. Greg Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Golf and COB of Srixon Sports Europe, said: “Cleveland Golf/Srixon could not be happier to be involved with the European Senior Tour, as we have been for the past four years. It is our belief that this is one of the best marketing tools in the game and the Scottish Senior Open is one of the best supported events on the Senior Tour.“We are particularly excited that the Scottish Senior Open has been moved to the Home of Golf, St Andrews, which is a fitting place for the championship. It is a great honour for us to be part of this event.” Charles Head, General Manager at Fairmont St Andrews, said: “We are delighted to welcome the European Senior Tour to St Andrews, the Home of Golf. We look forward to an outstanding event which will showcase the investment made in the resort and the new Torrance Course. I certainly think Sam's works will be a stern test for all the participants.” Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “The Cleveland Golf / Srixon Scottish Senior Open is a fantastic event and a great example of Scotland’s ability to host world class golf tournaments at world famous venues which attract world renowned competitors. “Sam Torrance is an outstanding ambassador for golf in Scotland and it’s exciting to see him return to his signature course to compete against a stellar line up of players, including defending champion, Peter Mitchell. We look forward to seeing some great competition at this year’s tournament.”

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