After his bid to win the John Jacobs Trophy in 2011 was scuppered by a career-threatening eye condition, Andrew Oldcorn has a clear vision of his target for the new season.
The 52 year old Scot has set his sights on topping the European Senior Tour Order of Merit to make up for the disappointment of not being able to challenge Peter Fowler for the Number One spot in the second half of the 2011 campaign.
Oldcorn set the pace at the top of the money list last year with a stunning nine shot maiden victory in The De Vere Club PGA Seniors Championship in June, but he discovered a cataract in his right eye at The Senior Open Championship the following month and slipped out of contention as the affliction steadily deteriorated over the final five months of the campaign.
Surgery in October proved successful and Oldcorn returned to action to claim a share of ninth place in the season-ending MCB Tour Championship in December, sealing third place on the Order of Merit behind Australian Fowler and Englishman Barry Lane.
Despite that encouraging return in Mauritius, the three-time European Tour champion has had to spend much of the winter adapting his game, having previously had surgery on a similar problem on his left eye in 2008.
Now, with the US Senior PGA Championship only two months away, Oldcorn is eager to resume his Senior Tour career and put the frustrations of last year behind him.
“I’m chomping at the bit to get going again,” said Oldcorn. “I probably came back too early in Mauritius, but I was keen to safeguard my place in the top four on the Order of Merit which gets me into the US Senior Open.
“I encountered a problem over there when I got an infection, but the eye seems fine now. I’ve had to make some adjustments to the lie of my clubs as I’ve now had two eyes operated on and it alters how I see the ground and the ball.
“The time off has given me the chance to do that, but I’m desperate to start playing again. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career, so I am used to battling back. I had a really good chance in the Order of Merit last year, but in the end it came down to Peter and Barry (Lane) and Peter deserved it because of his consistency.
“Before the eye problem at The Senior Open I had not been out of the top ten since Japan in November, but after it I was not even in the top 20 until Mauritius. So I’m looking forward to renewing my battle with Peter and Barry and there are plenty of good guys coming on this year, so the standard will be raised again.”
With the John Jacobs Trophy his ultimate aim for the forthcoming season, Oldcorn’s 2012 vision also includes a successful defence of the newly-named ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship at De Vere Slaley Hall from June 7-10. His victory in the event last year came ten years after he won the PGA Championship on The European Tour, the biggest win of his career, and he will attempt to become the first player since compatriot Sam Torrance in 2005 and 2006 to retain the title.
“Apart from the Majors, the PGA Championship is the one tournament that you really want to win, and I am lucky to have done it on both The European Tour and the Senior Tour now,” he said.
“Doing the double definitely made my first Senior Tour victory even sweeter. In fact it couldn’t have been better. It’s a nice goal to now try to defend the title.”