Legends of golf will congregate on the south Wales coastline later this month for a Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex which lives up to its billing as a truly global gathering of many of the game’s greatest senior players at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.
A total of 34 Major Champions, all celebrated winners across both the Regular and Senior Tours, will arrive at Royal Porthcawl from July 27-30 having amassed a remarkable haul of 70 Major titles between them.
The world-class quality of the 144-strong field is unmistakable as Wales gears up for the third installment of the country’s Year of Sporting Legends following the hugely successful UEFA Champions League final and cricket’s ICC Trophy in Cardiff last month.
The exempt field is packed with global champions and Ryder Cup players and captains who are set to light up the famous Bridgend links as the culmination of those three incredible sporting events held in Wales during the summer of 2017.
It will be the second time that the Senior Open Championship has visited the classic links of Royal Porthcawl, and the 2014 Champion, Bernhard Langer, is one of 15 winners of regular Majors taking part with no fewer than 33 wins between them.
The field also contains 17 players who have won 37 Senior Major titles since reaching the age of 50, with an illustrious group of just four players – Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman and Tom Watson – having claimed Majors at both levels.
Additionally, the field is augmented by the appearance in Wales by ten past Ryder Cup captains from both sides of the golfing divide – namely Sir Nick Faldo, Langer, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, José Maria Olazábal, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam for Europe and Lehman, Corey Pavin and Watson from the United States. Pavin, of course, was captain in Wales in 2010.
Every Senior Open throws up an interesting list of rookies who have reached the requisite age to compete, and 2017’s roster promises to deliver a high quality crop in Major Champions Olazábal and Fiji’s three-time Major winner Vijay Singh along with McGinley and the Wales’ 2002 Ryder Cup hero, Phillip Price.
Defending Champion Paul Broadhurst of England is one of five winners of the Senior Claret Jug challenging for the title, including Langer, who captured his second crown at Royal Porthcawl three years ago by a record-breaking 13 stroke margin.
Next month’s Championship has also attracted a substantial number of golfers who will tee up in the hope of being among the minimum of 24 qualifiers for the main event at four outstanding venues closer to Royal Porthcawl on Monday, July 24.
The 18-hole qualifying competition, played over Ashburnham, Machynys, Pyle & Kenfig and Southerndown, has attracted just over 400 golfers – including 80 amateurs – to make the trip to south Wales, all with the express aim of joining the superstars in battle later that week. The appeal of the venue has resulted in a total of 45 countries ranging from Algeria, Chile, Hong Kong, Nepal, Paraguay and Poland being represented in the qualifying scramble.
Welsh Government Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, said: “Our summer of sport continues as we look to hosting the Senior Open Championship later this month for the second time. We’re looking forward to welcoming back some of the golfing world’s legendary players with Bernhard Langer back on the course he won on in 2014 and facing the likes of Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie and home favourites such as Ian Woosnam and Phil Price.
“2017 is Wales’ Year of Legends and already this year we have successfully hosted the giants of Real Madrid and Juventus in the UEFA Champions League Final and welcomed the ICC Champions trophy to Wales and the Senior Open is yet another opportunity for Wales to demonstrate our capabilities in hosting world class sporting events, a real “summer of sporting legends”.
David MacLaren, on behalf of the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, said: “We are delighted that so many great champions, past and present, will assemble at the beautiful Royal Porthcawl links for the 2017 event. This year’s field is a testament to the quality of Senior golfers across the globe and we are anticipating an exciting conclusion to Wales’s Year of Sporting Legends with another world class event to match the Champions League and ICC Trophy.”
A variety of ticket options are available now along with hospitality packages. In addition to full price season and day tickets, the Senior Open Championship is now offering Twilight Tickets (entry after 3pm) for Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28, priced £13.50 in advance or £15 on the gate. Young adults aged between 17-24 can purchase a Youth Ticket at a discounted price of £16.
Entry is free of charge for the Under-16s, accompanied by an adult, while parking close to the Royal Porthcawl course is also free.
For all tickets and more information, visit www.senioropenchampionship.com or call +44 (0) 800 023 2557.