Friday, January 29, 2010

Old Timers return to South Africa

Sam Torrance will renew his battle with fellow former Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam on the European Senior Tour when the pair head to South Africa for the inaugural Berenberg Bank Masters from March 26-28, 2010. The Scot capped a marvellous 2009 season when he edged out Woosnam by just €3,380 in the Senior Tour Order of Merit to win his third John Jacobs Trophy.He will be hoping to continue that momentum when the pair go head-to-head again as the Senior Tour makes its maiden voyage to South Africa and the spectacular Gary Player-designed Links at Fancourt.Torrance has already made a strong start to the 2010 campaign, finishing tied third behind winner Kevin Spurgeon in the Mauritius Commercial Bank Open in December.With a prize fund of €500,000 – one of the most lucrative on the 2010 Senior Tour schedule – the Berenberg Bank Masters will play a significant role in the Order of Merit race, as Torrance looks to defend the John Jacobs Trophy he also previously won in 2005 and 2006. “South Africa is another exciting new destination for the Senior Tour and I’m really looking forward to continuing my defence of the John Jacobs Trophy at Fancourt,” said Torrance.“It will be great to go up against Woosie and hopefully I can come out on top again. I’m playing well at the moment and feel confident every time I go out and play so it would be nice if that continues in South Africa.“Last year I got the season off to a great start when I won early on in Barbados and it would be fantastic to do the same again at Fancourt, which I’ve heard is a magnificent course.“After starting with a 74 in Mauritius I was delighted to fight back and finish tied third and hopefully that was the beginning of another good season for me.” After capturing 21 European Tour titles and leading Europe to Ryder Cup success in 2002, Torrance has been at the forefront of the Senior Tour since turning 50 in 2003, winning 11 times and lying fifth in the Senior Tour career earnings list.Former World Number One Woosnam, meanwhile, is chasing his fourth Senior Tour title and will look to make an early impression on the Order of Merit as he attempts to reclaim the John Jacobs Trophy he won in a glorious rookie season in 2008.The Welshman returns to South Africa for the first time since 2000 having previously won the Million Dollar Challenge at Sun City in 1987.Torrance and Woosnam will be joined in the field by Gary Player, the nine-time Major Champion and nine-time Senior Major Champion, who has overseen the recent changes to The Links at Fancourt, which included the resurfacing of all 18 greens and resculpturing of 27 bunkers.Dr Hans-Walter Peters, Managing Partner of Berenberg Bank, said: “We are very happy to have such an amazing field of famous sportsmen at the Berenberg Bank Masters in Fancourt.” The Berenberg Bank Masters, sponsored by Germany’s oldest private bank which has more than 400 years experience in the sector, will be co-sanctioned by the European Senior Tour and the Sunshine Tour.

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