Woosnam relishing return to home soil

Category: Events, News, Up Your Game

Ian Woosnam will not only be the fans' favourite, he will also be one of the most fancied starters with the bookies when he tees off in the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open at Celtic Manor on Friday.

Wales' greatest ever golfer, Woosnam has found a new lease of life in senior golf in recent weeks, having claimed his first title on the US Champions Tour by sinking a putt from 30 foot to win the Insperity Invitational in a three-way play-off against Tom Lehman and Kenny Perry.

Former world No 1 and 1991 Masters champion Woosnam was also in contention right up until the final round for last week’s Senior PGA championship where fellow Celtic Manor enthusiast Colin Montgomerie successfully defended his title. Woosnam said:

It's always great to be back on home soil and this is a course I know well. The course looks to be in fantastic condition so it will be interesting to see how the scoring goes. There's some brilliant holes, the downhill par-five fifth hole could be telling, you can take triple bogey there or you can make eagle.

Woosnam twice won European Tour events down the road at St Pierre but he never managed to get his hands on the silver dragon trophy awarded to the Wales Open champion. He would love to win this week's European Senior Tour event on the Roman Road Course which he helped launch as Celtic Manor's touring professional in 1995. He said:

I've had some good times in Wales but I've also had some bad times. I'm looking forward to this week. I just hope I can find enough energy to try to win again, having just flown back from America.

Meanwhile, another European Tour winner from Wales, Mark Mouland, is also banking on home comforts providing the desired effect over the next three days. He revealed that he has played the Roman Road twice recently in the company of another Tour winner, Gordon Brand Jnr.

It’s a lovely track and has come on a ton since Gordon and I played. The greens are a bit fiery but it’s nice to be back here. I feel relaxed, being close to home. I live 35 minutes away so can commute to the course daily and if I can only hole a few more putts – you never know!

England’s Phil Golding won the last Wales Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl in 2013. Other proven winners in the field include Ryder Cup captains Sam Torrance and Mark James, Barry Lane, Costantino Rocca and former Wales Open winner Steen Tinning.

Celtic Manor member Glyn Davies is playing on a tournament invite and is assured of a strong following when he is first man off the tee at 8.00am on Friday. Woosnam is among the later starters on the opening day at 11.30am. You can see the full list of tee times here.

The SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open forms part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to golf, continuing the legacy of the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and Wales’ first ever major championship - last year's Senior British Open at Royal Porthcawl.

Tickets are available on the gate for tournament days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, priced £15 (single day) and £35 (season) for adults. Children under-16 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

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