Peter Fowler will head to the beautiful Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in confident mood after his best performance of the season last week saw something of a return of the swagger that secured the 2011 Senior Tour Order of Merit.
The Australian has struggled to recapture the form that secured two victories and the John Jacobs Trophy last year, but, after solving his putting problems in Germany last week en route to finishing in a tie for second place behind Tim Thelen, he is looking for a successful defence at the Golf Club Bad Ragaz.
Fowler overturned Angel Fernandez’s seven shot lead to claim the trophy 12 months ago and he is in the mood to do battle for the lion’s share of a an increased prize fund of €280,000 – a rise of €30,000 on 2011.
“Winning Bad Ragaz last year was a very significant win for me because it gave me a nice cushion on the Order of Merit, and because Barry (Lane) finished the season so strongly, winning there really helped me to finish Number One on the Order of Merit,” Fowler reflected.
“It’s a good fun course and always in good condition so I am looking forward to it. I got the putter going a bit better last week and you just have to look at my result to tell you how important that is – I finished tied second in Germany and rolled the ball pretty good so I am hoping to take a little bit of confidence to Switzerland because it would be pretty cool to defend a title.”
No matter what happens on the fairways of Golf Club Bad Ragaz, Fowler’s week in Switzerland will be an enjoyable thanks, in the main, to his caddie for the week.
“It’s a cool week for me anyway because I have one of the Members of the club, Bruno, caddieing for me,” Fowler explained. “He knows the course inside out and grew up playing there with the local pro. He is a great guy and I find that it helps to connect with the locals and the people of the town when I go there.
“We can all be a bit insulated by the tour life and it really adds something to the week and the experience to have a guy like Bruno helping me along.
“I think that is one of the great things about the Senior Tour – most of the guys like to get involved with their pro-am partners and the local Members and hopefully they get something back from the experience too.
“As far as I am concerned, making a great friend in Bruno and giving him the chance to caddie for the guy who won the tournament was great for both of us, and I hope we can do the same again.”
The Members of Golf Club Bad Ragaz are in for a special treat this week, with two legends of the game joining them for a celebration of golf.
They may have a combined age of 152, but that really doesn’t matter when the two men in question are Gary Player and Bob Charles. The two Major winning legends will be reunited for a truly special week, and they will be joined by many of the Senior Tour’s household names such as Mark James, three-time Bad Ragaz champion Carl Mason, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam.