Our press officer at Conwy Golf Club brings you all of the action from behind the scenes at the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open.
A welcome return
After a year’s absence from the Senior Tour schedule we are back in Wales this week for the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open. We were last in Conwy four years ago when Peter Mitchell held off Ian Woosnam to win his maiden Senior Tour title. Woosie, who captured his own maiden title on his previous appearance in Poland, went on to win the Order of Merit that year but he will be keen to be contending again in front of his home fans. With Mark Mouland now also on the Senior Tour, there is another Welshman on the scene as well. Mark’s father Sid won the Welsh Professional Championship here in 1966, so he will be hoping for a father-son double.
Health and safety
If you keep an eye on our image gallery this week, you might just spot some unusual tee markers. Speedy Services, this week’s title sponsors, are leading tools and equipment provider, so the tee-boxes are actually hard hats. Speedy were introduced to the Senior Tour by Roger Chapman, who they also sponsor. Roger has certainly proved to be value for money after they joined forces last year, winning both the US Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open this year. He brought by trophies with him to Wales this week to say thank you to his sponsors. Now the Alfred S. Bourne trophy has to be seen to be believed. Arriving in its own case which takes up the entire boot space of a decent sized estate car, the trophy is roughly the size of Roger’s torso and now has his name proudly displayed as the 2012 champion, just under 2011 winner Tom Watson. Roger was taking part in photo shoot with his two trophies beside the 18th green when a stray ball came hurtling towards the group, bouncing off his caddy Kev. Looks like we might need those hard hats after all…
Tony Johnstone flew back from the USA on Tuesday after a brief stint helping Lee Westwood with his short game. Renowned as one of the best chippers on Tour, Johnstone spent five days with Lee, who the Zimbabwean described as a dream to work with. Lee opened with a two under par 69 in the Barclays on the US PGA Tour, which I’m sure Tony will be happy with and he is also confident his own game is in decent shape ahead of this week’s event.