Monday, 03 February 2014
Simon P Brown  (Getty Images)
Simon P Brown (Getty Images)

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  • Simon P Brown
With the Final Stage of the European Senior Tour Qualifying School set to begin today in Portugal, the journey made by Simon P Brown last season will be the inspiration for a new group of hopefuls. 

The Englishman was one of the revelations of the 2013 campaign, winning the Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior) in September and Dutch Senior Open the following month en route to finishing third on the Order of Merit, having only earned his card last January by finishing runner up at the Qualifying School in Portugal. 

It was a remarkable rise to prominence for the 50 year old, who was a long time club professional at Golf Club Rhein-Sieg in Germany before joining some of the game’s great names on the Senior Tour 12 months ago. 

Brown’s success will be the blueprint for a new crop of hopefuls this week at Pestana Resort on Portugal’s Algarve, just as Brown followed closely in the spike-marks of his compatriot Paul Wesselingh, who won the Rookie of the Year in 2012 after securing his card by also finishing runner up at Qualifying School, and then went on to win the Order of Merit in 2013 after winning four times. 

“Paul and I both got the second card, so maybe the card to get is number two,” said Brown. 

“If you look at what Paul has done it has been an inspiration, then I’ve come from being a club pro too, and you had Tim Thelen before us both. It’s been great what we have all achieved. 

“I had a brilliant first year. You get your card and you wonder what you might do. I had a goal in my head at the start of the year to maybe get in the top 25, but to win twice was a fantastic year. I exceeded all my expectations. 

“I didn’t even have the goal of winning in my mind. I just wanted to play my game. In the first half of the year I was playing so-so, and using the long putter, then in the second half of the year I got the broom back out and started holing a few. It was a fantastic year for me.”

Brown will make his debut in the three Major Championships on the Senior Tour schedule by virtue of his third place finish on the 2013 Order of Merit, and having achieved so much last season, he knows the pressure is on to follow up his success in the new term. 

“I’m really looking forward to the new season and I can’t wait to get going,” he said. “I suppose after winning in Russia there was some pressure to do it again and prove myself. Doing that came a lot quicker than I expected in Holland, but now you want to do it again so there is some pressure for the new season.”

Brown will also get the chance to defend a title for the first time on the Senior Tour after it was confirmed that the Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior) will return to Moscow Country Club from September 5-7.

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