Philip Golding (Getty Images)
Philip Golding already has one European Senior Tour victory to his name this season and the Englishman has plenty of cause for optimism this week as he prepares for another challenge in the SSE Scottish Senior Open.
The Englishman made his debut in a regular Senior Tour event at Fairmont St Andrews 12 months ago, carding back-to-back weekend rounds of 64 as he finished one shot behind winner Anders Forsbrand of Sweden.
He went on to fire another 64 the following week in the opening round of the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open – the first time a player has achieved three connective 64s on the European Tour, Senior Tour or Challenge Tour – but once again finished runner up, on that occasion to Barry Lane.
He returned to Wales in June to go one better and claim his maiden title, and the 51 year old is hoping he can do the same in Scotland this week.
“I made my debut in The Senior Open at Turnberry then came here and had a wonderful time, shooting two 64s but I still didn’t win,” he said. “That did show me the high standard on the Senior Tour. I played with Anders Forsbrand on the final day and he played great. He was very aggressive and I pushed him and pushed him. I played nicely and finished second, and then the following week I went to Conwy for the Wales Senior Open and shot 64 again. I was leading by one there but let it slip when Barry Lane beat me by one shot.
“I think I did all I could here last year and Forsbrand deserved to win, but I probably should have won in Wales. I managed to redeem myself in Wales this year though, so it’s funny how things turn out and it would be nice to redeem myself here as well.”
Golding’s only European Tour victory came 10 years ago in the Open de France in his 201st event. After making his breakthrough on the Senior Tour considerably quicker, he is hoping to push on and become a multiple winner.
“It took me a long time to win on the main Tour so it was nice to get a victory so quickly on the Senior Tour,” he said. “I won three times on the Challenge Tour, once on the main Tour and now once on the Senior Tour, and there aren’t too many players who have done that. It’s a nice achievement. ~
Now you have to follow up with another one, and this week would be the perfect time.”
Golding feels the experience of winning in the wind on the links of Royal Porthcawl two months ago, allied to the form he showed at Fairmont St Andrews last year, will help him contend again this week.
“I’m really looking forward to being back here and playing this course again,” he said. “I’ve heard it’s going to be windy but I played really well in the wind at Royal Porthcawl shooting eight birdies on the first day for a 66 and then shooting 66 again on the final day to win.
“This is a wonderful course. This year it looks a bit more green and it is in great condition. Sam Torrance has done a great job with the design of this course. It’s a challenging course but there are some chances. If you can shoot 64 twice there are definitely chances out there, especially the par fives and two driveable par fours. So it is a good test of golf.”