Steen Tinning is hoping that history repeats itself next
week when he returns to Celtic Manor for the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open.
It was 15 years ago when the ‘Great Dane’ pitched up at
Celtic Manor for the inaugural Wales Open. Against the odds, and the
weight of home expectations, Tinning edged past the fans’ favourite, Ian
Woosnam, to lift his first European Tour title.
Now, a decade and a half later, Tinning is back on Welsh
soil from May 29-31 for the first Wales Senior Open to be played at
the resort which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.
The 52 year old understandably holds Celtic Manor in high
esteem, having triumphed there after 15 years on Tour without entering the
winner’s circle, and he admits that toppling Woosie on his own back
yard added to the sense of achievement. Tinning said:
What I remember most was the sense of relief, finally
winning a tournament after being on Tour for so long. The feeling of
beating a high class field was second to none, and it brushed away all the
doubts I had about ever winning an event. I played alongside Woosie in the
final round and it was clear that just about everyone was willing him to win.
However, I remember making a birdie at the second hole and that helped me to
relax. When I birdied the 14th and 16th, I was ahead and
eventually David Howell three putted the 17th to make sure I got
home by one shot.
That breakthrough proved to be the defining moment of the
Dane’s career, and he followed up by winning the Madrid Open three years later.
Then, upon turning 50 at the end of 2012, he hit the ground running on the
European Senior Tour by winning the Berenberg Masters and the English Senior
Open on his first full season among the over-50s.
Tinning will once again lock horns with home hope Woosnam next week among
a group of players that the Dane overcame back in 2000 – among them Sam
Torrance, Mark Mouland, Gordon Brand Jnr, Andrew Oldcorn, Jamie Spence, Barry
Lane and Phil Golding, who won the last Wales Open Senior at Royal Porthcawl
back in 2013.
Tinning, who plays in the Senior PGA Championship Presented
by KitchenAid in Indiana this week, can’t wait to tee up over the Roman Road.
It’s great to see Woosie back to his winning ways, both on
our Senior Tour last season and recently on the US Champions Tour. The
Tour needs a big time player playing well and winning and Ian seems to have got
all his motivation back. I would enjoy another head to head with him at Celtic
Manor next week.
Hospitality opportunities and advance tickets for the SSE
Enterprise Wales Senior Open are now available at a discounted rate by
visiting the European Senior Tour website.
For further information regarding sponsorship, exhibition
and Pro-Am teams, please contact Simon Harris via email on
firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling +44 1344 840518.
Parking for event will be free of charge, and Under-16s will
be also admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.