Lutz bids to defend Seniors Open Amateur title
American Chip Lutz will attempt to become the first player since the legendary Charlie Green to successfully defend his Seniors Open Amateur title at Machynys Peninsula from 8-10 August. Green won the Championship a remarkable six times in seven years from 1988 to 1994 but since then no-one has managed to record back-to-back victories.
Lutz, the 57-year-old plus four-handicapper who plays out of the LedgeRock Club in Pennsylvania, will have to overcome a strong field over the challenging Machynys Peninsula course on the outskirts of Llanelli in South-West Wales to join the select band who boast successive triumphs. He sets out for his first round in the 44th staging of the Championship on Wednesday (8 August) morning at 8.39 with Scotsman John Johnston and Irish international Tom Cleary.
Fellow American Paul Simson, Champion in 2006, 2008 and 2010, is certain to be one of his strongest challengers while Ireland's Arthur Pierse winner in 2007 and runner-up last year is among the others fancied to make an impact.
Ireland's Garth McGimpsey, the 2003 and 2005 Walker Cup captain, a former Amateur Champion and Irish Seniors Amateur Close Champion, would dearly like to add this prestigious title to his collection after finishing third at Walton Heath in 2009 and tied for sixth place 12 months ago at Royal Portrush.
Portmarnock's Adrian Morrow is a man in form having recently won the European Seniors Championship and could be a serious contender in the 144 man field this week in Wales. Welsh hopes appear to lie with John Jermine, aged 67, who in 2000 became the oldest ever winner of the Welsh Amateur Championship and is currently chairman of the Golf Union of Wales, and Royal Porthcawl's Jeff Thomas.
Cheshire's Roy Smethhurst, the winner at Blairgowrie in 2003, took the award for the 65 and over category last year and is again in the line-up.
Machynys Peninsula is the first Nicklaus-designed lay-out in Wales. The project was overseen by Gary Nicklaus on behalf of his father the legendary Jack Nicklaus. It is a modern links course on which 25 acres of lake - both salt and fresh water - have been created. The course boasts spectacular views across Carmarthen Bay.
The 144 competitors, aged 55 and over, play one round on Wednesday, another 18 holes on Thursday and then after a cut the top 60 and ties go forward to the final round on Friday.
The Seniors Open Amateur Championship winner will earn a place at the 2013 Senior Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and this year's US Senior Amateur Championship.
Click here to view the draw, scores and updates from throughout the Championship.