By Will Pearson, europeantour.com
at Rockliffe Hall
After victory in France two weeks ago propelled Peter Fowler to second in the 2013 Order of Merit, the Australian is ready to continue to strengthen his bid for a second John Jacobs Trophy at this week’s English Senior Open.
As Rockliffe Hall, in County Durham, prepares to host the fourth edition of the event six years after it was last staged, Fowler’s timely run of fine form has seen him close the gap on Order of Merit leader Paul Wesselingh with just four events of the Senior Tour season remaining.
The 54 year old’s triumph at the French Riviera Masters in late September got him to just €11,929 behind Wesselingh as he attempts to become Senior Tour Number One for a second time, two years after first claiming the coveted John Jacobs Trophy.
Quiet and thoughtful as ever, though, Fowler is concentrating solely on numbers and colours; namely staying in the red on the scorecard and out of it off the course.
“It’s just important to make a living so consistency is key,” said Fowler, who topped the 2011 Senior Tour Order of Merit following a fine year in which he won twice and finished in the top ten 13 times in 18 appearances.
“We spend a couple of thousand pounds a week so if you don’t play steadily well then you make a loss. However you want to look at it - that is the hard crux of it.
“I love the game of golf and I love playing it as a job but to do that you need to able to sustain a profit and that comes down to your form.
“That is the way I look at things, regardless of the position I am in. I concentrate on my own things; I can’t control what anyone else does but just do what I can. I want to play good golf and if that is good enough to win another John Jacobs Trophy then that is great.
“But I’ve proved before I can take care of business and hopefully that will show again over the next couple of months.”
Fowler had another superbly consistent season last year, amassing six top five finishes including runner up in the Travis Perkins Plc Senior Masters and joint runner up in the MCB Tour Championship as he finished fourth on the Order of Merit, and, after a slow start to the 2013 season, a return to form on the greens has proved key to the Sydney native’s resurgence.
“My game was right back up there again in France and I’ve putted very well over the last few weeks,” continued Fowler, who, on top of his victory in his last outing, has finished inside the top six three times in his last six appearances.
“You are always very happy when you can get a lot of consistency with your putter so I was very pleased. And that is just down to hard work, focussing on all the different aspects and hoping it comes together.”
At almost 7,000 yards, the links at the magnificent Rockliffe Hall could well suit Fowler, one of the longer hitters on the Senior Tour, as he attempts to plot his way to another superb, if understated, Number One finish.
He said: “I think it could work well for the big drivers. It’s a fairly lengthy course and there are lot of front bunkers to carry so if you can get it up there, leave a shorter club in your hands, then you’ve got a chance of landing the ball softly on these pretty slopey greens.”