Ryder Cup winning captain Ian Woosnam, fresh from a top 10 finish in the Senior Open at Turnberry, will have a challenge of a shorter variety when he competes in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship next week.
The Welshman, a winner of 48 titles across the globe including the 1991 Masters, will be part of a star-studded field including Tony Jacklin, Brian Barnes – making a competitive comeback after a decade – and Solheim Cup-winning captain Alison Nicholas, for the championship at Warwickshire’s Nailcote Hall.
Matthew Hayes, managing director of event organiser Champions (UK) Plc, is delighted to have Woosnam in the field.
“Ian Woosnam playing at this year’s event reflects the ongoing ambition of the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship to be one of the biggest events on the golfing calendar,” he said. “We are looking forward to four days of action packed and entertaining golf.”
A number of past and current European Tour players plus a posse of PGA aces will descend on the venue which hosts the tournament from 7-10 August.
Celebrity pro-ams sandwich the 36-hole championship, which has a £15,000 top prize for the winner over the challenging Cromwell Course, which has seen a number holes remodelled.
Among some of the other star names in action at Nailcote Hall are Ryder Cup stars Tommy Horton, Des Smyth and Paul Broadhurst, record European Senior Tour money and tournament winner Carl Mason and Sky pundit and Tour star Tony Johnstone.
Midland favourite Paul Wesselingh, who achieved his breakthrough win on the European Senior Tour with victory in the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship, is also in action as is Gary Wolstenholme, winner of the first two European Senior Tour events of the season.
Wolstenholme, who famously defeated Tiger Woods in the 1995 Walker Cup, paid tribute to the prime mover behind the tournament, Rick Creswell – the owner of Nailcote Hall.
“For us to play a Par 3 tournament like this, and all it entails including playing some celebrities and raising money for charity, is superb,” said Wolstenholme. “It s a break from the norm, but the benefit is that most people enjoy this format of golf. Once they have tried you struggle to get them off the course as everyone wants that hole in one.
“You don’t get too many opportunities on a normal round of golf as there’s only about four, where here you have one every hole. I’ve not seen anyone have a hole in one on the course and maybe I’ll get the opportunity to have one here. I’ve had 15 in my life but to do one here would be special.”
Wolstenholme also rates the new look changes made to the Nailcote track.
“The changes are phenomenally good. They’ve landscaped the golf course to make one half of the course as interesting as the other. It looks like they’ve been there all the time but he’s made the course more interesting.
“Water is one of those great mental hazards. You can’t get away with going into the water, unlike a bunker. The fact you’re not hitting more than a six iron, some of those down wind holes become more difficult selecting the right club.”
British Par 3 Championship www.britishpar3.com