Defending champion Brady Exber will aim to continue American dominance in the Seniors Amateur Championship when it gets underway at Royal County Down tomorrow.
After his four-shot victory at Ganton last year, Exber is looking to secure the sixth consecutive victory for the USA in this year's championship at the historic Northern Irish links.
The 59-year-old from Las Vegas will face a strong challenge from compatriots Paul Simson and Chip Lutz, who have won the championship five times between them, as well as John McClure and Michael Mercier, who finished tied third in 2014.
Last year’s runner-up Stephen East, from Moortown, will hope to go one better this year and continue the form that saw him finish joint-runner-up at the International European Seniors’ Championship at Pannonia in Hungary in June. England’s Clive Jones, who successfully defended his title at that event, and joint runner-up Norway’s Tore Sviland, will also be contenders at Royal County Down.
Irish hopes will centre on Adrian Morrow, from Portmarnock, and George Wilson, from Calcot Park, who finished tied sixth last year, as well as the 2007 Champion Arthur Pierse and former Great Britain and Ireland Walker Captain and Amateur Champion Garth McGimpsey.
Royal County Down has an outstanding championship heritage having hosted this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation, the fourth occasion on which the Irish Open has been played there, and previously the Senior Open, the Walker Cup, the Curtis Cup, the Amateur Championship and the Ladies British Amateur Championship.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director - Championships at The R&A, said, "The Seniors Amateur Championship boasts a strong field and there will be many players who will be confident that they can win this week. We are looking forward to an excellent championship and a wonderful test of golf at Royal County Down."
The Seniors Amateur Championship takes place at Royal County Down from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 August 2015. A field of 144 players will play the first two rounds on 5 and 6 August after which the leading 60 players, and ties, will play a further 18 holes on 7 August. The championship is open to players aged 55 years and over before 5 August 2015.