Barry Lane will have to plot a different path to victory if he is to defend the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open, but the Englishman, who won the title at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club last year, is relishing the opportunity to grit his teeth and get to grips with Royal Porthcawl.
Lane will arrive at the new venue for this year’s £250,000 Speedy Services Wales Senior Open eager to get reacquainted with Porthcawl – especially as the classic links lay-out will play host to the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex in July 2014.
“Porthcawl is just one of the great links courses in the world,” said Lane, who was the runner-up in both the 2011 and 2012 European Senior Tour Order of Merit rankings.
“It will be a privilege to defend the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open there and it will also be great to get a really good look at the course before the Senior Open next year.”
If Lane is looking for any inspiration ahead of his title defence, he need only cast his mind to the final round of last year’s Speedy Services Wales Senior Open.
Standing on the par four 17th fairway, Lane was just one stroke clear of playing partner Philip Golding when he produced a winning stroke worthy of any championship.
With 175 yards to the flag and the pressure pounding, the 52 year old drew his four iron and struck a perfect blow, his ball piercing the through the air like an arrow towards the hole. The resultant six-inch tap-in for birdie enabled Lane to stroll down the 18th with a two-shot cushion as he closed out the fourth victory of his Senior Tour career.
“Every time you win a tournament it is special,” said Lane, “But to win in that manner, having to hit that four iron when the pressure was really on and managing to pull it off was extremely satisfying.
“That is what we are still playing for. We are all still very competitive on the Senior Tour and when those moments come around in tournaments you realise how much you still want to win.
“Hopefully we can have a similar finish to the tournament this year and it would be great if I could play my way into contention again.”
Entry to the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open from June 14-16 is free of charge to the general public, with car parking priced at just £5.