Trio of Welsh courses to host 2014 Senior Open Qualifying
Three of Wales’ leading links courses - Ashburnham Golf Club, Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club (right) and Southerndown Golf Club – have been announced as host venues for the Monday Qualifying event prior to The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, which takes place at Royal Porthcawl from July 24-27.
After a record number of entrants in 2013, it is expected that more than 300 golfers will participate in the qualifying event on Monday July 21, 2014, hoping to earn a place in Wales’ first Major Championship.
They will be vying for approximately 30 spots in the field for The Senior Open Championship and the chance to play alongside some of the game’s all-time greats, such as 2012 champion Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer and home favourite Ian Woosnam.
Ashburnham Golf Club celebrated its centenary in 1994 by hosting the Amateur Home Internationals. Previously it hosted the PGA Championship in 1959, won by Dai Rees, and again ten years later when Bernard Gallacher triumphed.
Another Ryder Cup Captain, Sam Torrance, also won the Martini Open at the venue in 1976, capturing his second European Tour title after a maiden victory earlier that year in the Piccadilly Medal.
Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club hosted the Senior Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in 2009 and has twice assisted with the stroke play rounds of The Amateur Championship.
Southerndown Golf Club, another superb Welsh links course, was created by a number of leading architects since 1905, including Willie Fernie, Herbert Fowler, Willie Park, Harry Colt and Donald Steel.
It hosted the Martini International in 1968, won by home favourite Brian Huggett, as well as the Piccadilly Medal in 1970 and 1971.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships, at The R&A, said on behalf of the Championship: “Next year’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex will be the first time the Championship has been played in Wales. We are delighted that these three superb links courses, Ashburnham Golf Club, Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club and Southerndown Golf Club, will be involved alongside host venue Royal Porthcawl.
“The Monday qualifying event has become an integral part of The Senior Open Championship, bringing a positive economic impact to the local economy, so we look forward to these three venues playing an important role in the 2014 Championship.”
Wales’ First Minister, Carwyn Jones said: “We have already proven that we can host top quality, international golf events here in Wales and continue to work tirelessly to capitalise on the profile we have gained from this. The fact that these three links courses will host the qualifying events shows our reputation as a golfing nation continues to go from strength to strength.”