Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, José María Olazábal and Ian Woosnam are flying the flag for the European Senior Tour this week as the former Masters Tournaments Champions return to Augusta National.
Fred Couples, who won the green jacket in 1992, joins Langer as the other former Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex Champion to tee it up on the hallowed fairways in Georgia, before making an appearance at this year’s only British-based Senior Major in July.
Langer, a dominant force on the Senior Tour and the American PGA TOUR Champions, hit the headlines in 2016 as he started the final round of the Masters just one shot off the lead. In the last four editions, Langer has made the cut on three occasions, finishing eighth in 2014 and in the process taking his total of top ten finishes at Augusta National to nine.
The 59 year old is one of just three Europeans to have won the Masters twice, along with Seve Ballesteros and Olazábal.
Olazábal won two Green Jackets in the space of five years (1994 and 1999), and finished second to Woosnam in 1991. After recovering from a foot injury sustained in 1997, he battled back two years later to win his second Major Championship.
Woosnam became the first Welshman to win a Major Championship as he triumphed in 1991 at Olazábal’s expense. The Spaniard carded a bogey five on the 72nd hole, with Woosie holding his nerve from eight feet with a par putt to leave Augusta National with a Green Jacket. This year will be Woosnam's 30th appearance at the championship.
Three years before Woosnam’s triumph, Ryder Cup teammate Sandy Lyle, who won The Open Championship in 1985 became the first Scotsman to win the Masters. After birdieing the 16th hole to draw level with Mark Calcavecchia, Lyle set up a birdie putt on the last with a spectacular bunker shot, which he holed to become a two-time Major Champion.
Couples shares the record with Gary Player for consecutive cuts made at the Masters, making the weekend 23 times. In 1992, he entered the 56th Masters Tournament as the world’s top ranked player. With a two-shot lead over Raymond Floyd, Couples held his nerve over the last three holes to win.
With these stars are set to tee it up at this year’s Senior Open Championship, could we see the 2017 Masters Tournament champion take to the fairways of Royal Porthcawl Golf Club?
Be sure to secure your spot at this year's Senior Open, from July 28-30, here.