Chapman and Woosnam eye Welsh win

8/20/2012 10:38:15 AM
 Roger Chapman   (Getty Images)
Roger Chapman (Getty Images)

The Speedy Services Wales Senior Open returns to the European Senior Tour schedule this week after a one year absence, with Roger Chapman and Ian Woosnam both targeting sentimental victories.

For Chapman, the reigning double Senior Major Champion, the tournament at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club represents the chance to repay the faith shown in him by the title sponsor. 

Speedy Services also sponsor the Englishman, and after their endorsement last year he went on to win the US Senior PGA Championship in May and the US Senior Open last month, joining Gary Player (1987), Jack Nicklaus (1991) and Hale Irwin (1998) as the only players to have achieved the double in the same season.

After being unable to achieve the hat-trick when he was forced to retire from The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex with a neck injury, Chapman will instead hope to make the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open his third win of 2012.

“It would be nice to do a good job for Speedy at Conwy,” he said. “They’ve been very good to me over the past six months and hopefully it will be a great tournament for everyone.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to playing Conwy, which is a great golf course. The last time I was there I was actually a rules official, which funnily enough was my first tournament doing that role. So it should be a special week all round.”

Welshman Woosnam, meanwhile, will be eager to win on home soil having just missed out the last time Conwy hosted the tournament, in 2008.

On that occasion the former World Number One and Masters Champion finished runner-up to Peter Mitchell, but he did have the consolation of going on to win the Senior Tour Order of Merit, having captured his maiden title in the previous tournament in Poland.

A large home support is once again expected to cheer on Wales’ most successful golfer, who returns to Conwy showing signs of his best form again following a top ten finish in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex and tied fourth in last week’s SSE Scottish Senior Open.

“It is great to see the Wales Senior Open back on the Senior Tour schedule with the backing of a new sponsor, Speedy Services, and I am really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd again,” said Woosnam.

“Hopefully the Welsh golf fans will really get behind the event, and hopefully I can put on a good show for them.

“I came pretty close to winning when we last played at Conwy in my first year on the Senior Tour in 2008, but unfortunately Peter Mitchell was in great form that week. Obviously now I have the chance to go back and have another shot at the title and hopefully I can get the job done this time.”

Wales’ other leading Senior Tour player, Mark Mouland, will also be hoping to perform on home soil. Mouland was runner-up in the Benahavis Senior Masters in June, having picked up his first Senior Tour title in Portugal last year.

Like Woosnam, he finished with a closing 67 in Scotland last week, taking a share of 14th place, and is looking forward to returning to a course he has not played for a long time.

“I’ve not played Conwy for many years, probably more than 30 years,” he said. “I used to play there a lot as a junior so I’m really looking forward to going back.

“It’s a fantastic track. My dad actually won the Welsh Professional Championship in 1966 by a bunch of shots, so it would be nice to do well for him.”