Roger Chapman and Barry Lane, the top two players on the European Senior Tour Order of Merit, renew their battle in this week’s Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters, with both players looking to go one better than last year.
The English pair tied for second place with Scotland’s Gordon Brand Jnr over the Duke’s Course 12 months ago, finishing four strokes behind winner Boonchu Ruangkit.
Lane, who had won the Scottish Senior Open two weeks previously, was the joint leader going into the final round last year, but his hopes of back-to-back victories were dashed by a triple bogey on the 537 yard par five 14th hole as he carded a closing 75.
The former Ryder Cup player returns to Woburn in a fine vein of form following his victory in last week’s Speedy Services Wales Senior Open.
The former Ryder Cup player was also tied third in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex last month and tied eighth in his defence of the SSE Scottish Senior Open, before claiming his fourth Senior Tour victory in Conwy.
“I’ve been playing really well this year and I’m in great form so I’m looking forward to going back to Woburn,” he said. “Having won in Scotland last year a couple of weeks before and then leading going into the final round I felt as though I should have won again but that mistake on the 14th cost me and Boonchu also played well.
“It was great to win last week in Wales and it would be nice to get back-to-back titles.”
Lane’s second place in last year’s Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters helped him to finish runner up in the Order of Merit, and he finds himself in the same position this year, behind Chapman, the US Senior PGA and US Senior Open champion.
Chapman has a healthy €103,681 advantage in pole position for the John Jacobs Trophy and will be hoping to extend that by securing the lion’s share of the £300,000 prize fund, which is up £15,000 on last year.
The 53 year old opened with a 74 last year, but weekend rounds of 67 and 70 helped him to one of three second place finishes in the 2011 season.
After winning his maiden Senior Tour title in the US Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Michigan, Chapman returned to the same state to complete at Major double in the US Senior Open at Indianwood Golf and Country Club.
In contrast Ruangkit returns to defend his title searching for form, the 2010 Senior Tour Order of Merit winner without a top ten finish so far this season.
The Thai succeeded Des Smyth as champion and the Irishman returns to Woburn following a tied seventh finish last week in Wales.
This week marks the 12th edition of the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters at Woburn Golf Club’s making it second only to Bad Ragaz Golf Club, host of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open, as the longest standing venue on the Senior Tour schedule.
Carl Mason, the most successful player in Senior Tour history, is the only player to have won the event more than once, having captured back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. Should the Englishman win a third it would mean he has won at least one title in each of his ten seasons on the Senior Tour, setting a new record.
Meanwhile Philip Golding will be hoping to continue his impressive start to life on the Senior Tour. The Englishman, who turned 50 the day before last month’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, finished runner up to Anders Forsbrand in the SSE Scottish Senior Open then runner up to Lane in last week’s Speedy Services Wales Senior Open, missing out by a stroke on each occasion.