He may have narrowly missed out on a popular victory in his native Wales last week, but in-form Ian Woosnam has another shot at ‘home’ glory this week, as the European Senior Tour returns to Jersey for the first time in five years.
The 1991 Masters Champion finished joined runner up behind Paul Wesselingh in the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open at The Celtic Manor Resort on Sunday, and he is hoping to extend his strong start to the 2015 season at La Moye Golf Club, which hosts the Acorn Jersey Open.
Woosnam is a long-time resident on the Channel Island and has enjoyed previous success over the links of La Moye, claiming the Jersey Open on The European Tour in 1987. In addition to home comforts and a history with the course, the former World Number One will also have current form on his side, having already tasted victory on the US Champions Tour this season, when he defeated Tom Lehman and Kenny Perry in a play-off at the Insperity Invitational.
That win followed his victory in the Dutch Senior Open at the end of the 2014 Senior Tour campaign, and having come up just short in Wales, he sees Jersey as the ideal place to add to his glittering trophy cabinet.
“I’ve lived in Jersey for 20 years and I’ve been coming here for nearly 40 years, so it’s a place I obviously know very well,” said Woosnam. “I’m looking forward to playing here again. It’s great to have this tournament back on the Senior Tour schedule and Acorn have been great putting the money up for it. Let’s hope it goes well and it would be great if I can be up there competing again.
“I wouldn’t say I played very well last week in Wales, but that shows what shape my game is in that I can still finish second. I’ve been doing everything reasonably well and that helps with scoring, and hopefully the game will come back again this week.
“It would have been great to win in Wales but to win in Jersey would be the next best thing, so we will try again.”
The Acorn Jersey Open, which has a prize fund of £200,000, is back on the Senior Tour schedule having previously been played between 1996 and 2010. Another Jersey resident, Tommy Horton, won the title in 1997 – ten years after Woosnam’s victory at La Moye on The European Tour – and Woosnam is hoping local knowledge can be a factor once more this week.
“I’ve played this course hundreds of times and I won the Jersey Open on The European Tour in 1987, so I like the course,” said the 2006 European Ryder Cup captain. “It’s a course where if you play well, you can score well, but if you don’t play well you can end up with a big number. The rough is long, and it is running quite a bit with the warm number expected, so the one iron will be coming out a bit I think.”
Under the administration of Managing Director Andy Stubbs, The European Senior Tour tournaments are staged in twelve countries and on three different continents, while a Qualifying School is employed to identify each season’s new intake.
European Senior Tour www.europeantour.com/seniortour/index.html
La Moye Golf Club www.lamoyegolfclub.co.uk
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