Ian Woosnam hopes to kick-start his 2012 season when he defends his Berenberg Bank Masters title at Wörthsee Golf Club in Munich this week.
The former World Number One and Masters Champion has had a slow beginning to the new European Senior Tour campaign, but he is hoping his strong record on German soil can inspire him to find his top form.
Woosnam rolled back the years 12 months ago with a superb final round 66 to storm to victory at Cologne Golf und Land Club, finishing two shots clear of Angel Fernandez on nine under par 207.
The win was Woosnam’s second career success in Germany, following his victory in the German Open at Nippenburg in 1996 which was cut to 54 holes because of inclement weather.
Although he will face a new venue in Wörthsee Golf Club, the victorious 2006 Ryder Cup Captain is hoping he can overcome a strong field that includes home favourite Bernhard Langer to claim his fifth Senior Tour title
“Germany has been pretty good to me over the years and hopefully it will again,” he said. “I struggled a bit last week but hopefully I can find something and try to defend the title.
“It was a great final round last year, but obviously we are at a different course so that doesn’t count too much. It will be tough though with Bernhard being on home soil. He’s got an even better record in Germany than I have.”
Langer is playing in his second consecutive tournament on home soil after finishing tied 23rd in last week’s BMW International Open on The European Tour.
The 2010 Senior Open Champion had just returned from a thumb injury when he finished in a share of 11th place last year, but the two-time Masters Champion is hoping to contend for the title this week in a tournament that is promoted by Langer Sport Marketing and his brother Erwin.
Langer and Woosnam are joined in the field by Mark James and Sam Torrance, meaning there will be four former Ryder Cup Captains at Wörthsee Golf Club. James was joint leader going into the final round last year but finished tied fifth after a closing 74.
Japan’s Massy Kuramoto will be looking for back-to-back victories following his superb two shot win in the Van Lanschot Senior Open in The Netherlands last week.
This week’s tournament is third edition of the Berenberg Bank Masters, which was first played at The Links at Fancourt in South African in 2010, won by Boonchu Ruangkit, then in Cologne last year.
It is also the first of two Senior Tour events in Germany this year, with the Pon Senior Open due to take place at the WINSTONopen Course, in Vorbeck, from September 7-9.