Defending champion Des Smyth will begin his bid for a record third Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters title alongside the English pair of Gary Wolstenholme and Philip Golding when play gets underway at Woburn Golf Club on Friday.
Irishman Smyth, who won by a single stroke last year to add a second triumph on the Duke’s Course to that of 2010, will tee off at 0950 local time with three-time Senior Tour winner Wolstenholme and Golding, who captured his maiden title at the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open in June.
If Smyth is successful in his bid this week, he would become just the fourth player to win the same official Senior Tour event on three occasions (since the Tour’s inception in 1992), after Carl Mason, Tom Watson and Neil Coles.
Making just his third Senior Tour start after turning 50 in June, eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie will take to the Woburn links at 1000 with two fellow-2013 rookies in Santiago Luna and Steen Tinning.
Having finished 30th in his Senior Tour debut at the US Senior Open Championship and tied 21st in The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex last month, Montgomerie will be looking to contend for his maiden Senior title with two men who have recently won theirs.
Two weeks ago, Spain’s Luna became the fifth first-time winner of the season when he triumphed at the SSE Scottish Senior Open, while Dane Tinning prevailed at the Berenberg Masters in Germany two weeks before that.
The Duke’s Course will host a star-studded three-ball at 0940 on Friday, meanwhile, as former Ryder Cup Captains Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam are joined by 2012 Rookie of the Year Paul Wesselingh, already a two-time winner this year.
Mark James, who won here in 2005, will tee off with two-time Senior Masters winner Mason and Italy’s Constantino Rocca at 0920, while 2011 Senior Tour Number One Peter Fowler will play the first round alongside Scotland’s Andrew Oldcorn and Tim Thelen of the United States.