The R&A - Working for Golf

Senior Open Champion prepares for title defence

• Defending Senior Open Champion plays Royal Porthcawl ahead of 2017 Championship.

• First time Paul Broadhurst plays Welsh course since 1988 Amateur Championship.

• Welshman Phillip Price joins him in countdown to the Senior Open championship.

Defending Senior Open champion Paul Broadhurst had the opportunity to reacquaint himself with Royal Porthcawl Golf Club as he joined local favourite Phillip Price for 18 holes on the famed Welsh course.

 

Senior Open champion at Carnoustie

Broadhurst, who triumphed at Carnoustie on his debut at the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex, had not played the Welsh links since the 1988 Amateur Championship and teed it up with Price as the pair started their preparations for the 31st edition of the event which takes place from July 27-30.

The Englishman, a six-time European Tour winner and 1991 Ryder Cup player, has enjoyed a stunning start to his over-50s career since reaching the milestone age in 2015. He won on his European Senior Tour debut, the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open, and was also named Rookie of the Year that same season.

In 2016, he secured the Senior Claret Jug by two strokes from America’s Scott McCarron and then won the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in his third start at a PGA TOUR Champions event, becoming just the third golfer in history to win at both Carnoustie and Pebble Beach.

Royal Porthcawl

“I have great memories of last year, and I was really looking forward to playing today and reacquainting myself with this course,” said Broadhurst. “My good friend Phillip showed me around and I had the chance to make a few notes and start my preparations for July.”

Debut at Senior Open for Price

Price, who famously beat Phil Mickelson 3&2 in the Sunday single at The 2002 Ryder Cup, will be bidding to add to his three European Tour titles as he tees it up in his first Senior Open Championship just a short drive from his home in Newport.

The Welshman made a strong start to his Senior Tour career as he finished runner-up and tied for fourth in his first two events on the over-50s circuit.

“We come here in the winter half a dozen times to play with friends so I know the course really well,” said Price. “I couldn’t have picked a better course to play my first Senior Open.

“Porthcawl is one of my favourite courses. I love to come here, I’m always welcomed.

“It’s an all-round test, the course will fit any type of game. It’s a great test of everything. You have to keep out of the deep bunkers and the greens slope a little more than most links courses. You can be a long hitter or a short hitter but, if you play well, you will score well.”

Senior Open Championship

Price hopes to take inspiration from Broadhurst, who won last year’s Senior Open on one of his favourite courses.

“I have always done well at Carnoustie, either at the Scottish Open or Dunhill Championships,” said Broadhurst. “When I found out I was making my Senior Open debut there, it certainly got the juices flowing. If I could have picked a course to play my first Senior Open it would have been that.

“My father said I would lift the Claret Jug one day. I thought my chance had gone, having never featured in The Open, but this was a great second best.”

Tickets are on sale now and hospitality packages available. For tickets and more information, visit www.senioropenchampionship.com or call +44 (0) 800 023 2557.