Tom Watson is eager to renew his love affair with Royal Porthcawl this summer when he competes in his 16th Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex over a links course he describes as ‘the complete package’.
Even at the age of 67, and 10 years on from the last of his three Senior Open titles, Watson still appreciates his annual experience over the type of course which earned him global recognition as a legend of the game and one of the greatest links exponents in history.
Royal Porthcawl will host the Senior Open for a second time from July 27-30, three years after Bernhard Langer’s memorable, sun-drenched success, and Watson can’t wait to return to South Wales to compete alongside more than 30 of his fellow Major Champions.
Watson positively purrs with admiration for Royal Porthcawl whenever the course is mentioned. He said: “I think it’s an elegant links course which has everything to offer the links golfer. The complete package.
“Of all its special qualities, I love the fact that there is such variety to playing golf there. Unlike some narrow strips of links land, which necessitate nine holes out and nine back, Royal Porthcawl has infinite variety of direction.
“It has a mixture of hard and easy holes; it requires long and short shots; dog-legs going left and right; tight driving holes and generous driving holes. The shots I was required to make in 2014 were all you could want to put on a menu if you play a links course. That is what I loved as soon as I saw it.”
Watson finished tied tenth in 2014 as Langer rampaged through a world class field, winning his second Senior Open by a record 13 stroke margin from Colin Montgomerie. It was a performance which astonished Watson.
He added: “Porthcawl is a course that takes a lot of understanding, so that is why I thought that Bernhard may have played the best four rounds of golf not just on the Senior Tour, but on any of the regular Tours that year. It’s no surprise that he was talked about as a possible wild card for Paul McGinley’s Ryder Cup Team at Gleneagles.”
Englishman Paul Broadhurst will defend the title which he won at Carnoustie last year against stiff competition from golfing icons including Watson, Langer, John Daly, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Welsh legend Ian Woosnam.
A formidable line-up of former Major Champions and Ryder Cup stars will be at Royal Porthcawl for the 2017 Senior Open Championship. Tickets are on sale now and hospitality packages are also available.
For tickets and more information, visit www.senioropenchampionship.com or call +44 (0) 800 023 2557.
European Tour www.europeantour.com
Royal Porthcawl www.royalporthcawl.com