The European Senior Tour and Rockliffe Hall are delighted to announce the reintroduction of the English Senior Open to the Senior Tour schedule for 2013 and 2014.
Last played in 2007 at St Mellion, the English Senior Open will take place from October 4-6, 2013 at the five-star Rockliffe Hall in County Durham, north-east England. It will also be part of the 2014 Senior Tour schedule on dates to be confirmed.
With a prize fund of £200,000, the tournament will be the fourth event of 2013 to be played in England, following June’s ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship at De Mottram Hall, The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Birkdale last month and the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters, which takes place at Woburn Golf Club next week.
Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “Over recent years, we have discussed with Rockliffe Hall their ambition of hosting a Tour event, therefore we are delighted that this will now happen with the return of the English Senior Open to the Senior Tour schedule.
“The success of the BMW PGA Championship and The Senior Open Championship this year has demonstrated the appetite for tournament golf in England with great public support, and has helped us to re-establish this tournament in a region renowned for its love of sporting events.
“The course and hotel facilities at Rockliffe Hall are superb and the legends of senior golf are certain to enjoy participating at the venue over the next two years.”
Former Open de France winner Graeme Storm is attached to Rockliffe Hall, which hosts a Senior Tour event for the first time. The course opened in 2009, alongside the Grade II listed buildings, which date back to the 18th century and have been transformed into a five star hotel and spa resort, with a triple AA rosette restaurant.
Warwick Brindle, Chairman of Rockliffe Hall, said: “We are delighted to be hosting a major European Senior Tour event so soon after opening. The English Senior Open will be the biggest tournament of its kind to be held in the North East in recent years and follows on from the huge success this summer in holding The Ashes, so we know the area will support the event in a big way.”
The course, designed by Marc Westenborg of Hawtree, is already home to the Northern Masters and the Trilby Tour, and has rapidly become one of the top golfing destinations in the UK.
Rockliffe Hall itself was selected as the Olympic training camp for both the US Ladies’ football team and Team GB’s Men’s and Ladies’ teams prior to their London 2012 campaigns. The resort was also chosen as an official FIFA training venue for the 2014 World Cup bid.
Carl Mason, the Senior Tour’s most prolific winner, won the first three editions of the English Senior Open in 2003, at Hillside Golf Club, in 2004 at Formby Hall Golf Club, and in 2006 at St Mellion. Scotland’s Bill Longmuir won the 2007 edition, the last to be played, which was also held at St Mellion.