Ian Woosnam is hoping a return to the scene of one of his 29 European Tour victories can kick-start his 2010 season on the European Senior Tour when he tees it up in the inaugural Cannes Mougins Masters this week.
The former World Number One and Masters Champion is currently languishing in 30th position in the Order of Merit but victory in the €250,000 event would propel him up the rankings with just three events remaining.
Woosnam captured the Cannes Open on The European Tour at Cannes Mougins in 1994 and he hopes that experience will serve him well as he chases a fourth Senior Tour title to continue his sequence of winning in each season since turning 50 in 2008.
The 52 year old took the title 16 years ago after making it through to the weekend on the cut line and hopes Cannes Mougins can inspire a similar turnaround in form this week after a disappointing campaign by his own high standards.
“It is 16 years ago that I won here and I also lost in a play-off to Seve in 1987 so it is a course that I have done well on,” said the Welshman.
“The year I won, going down the 27th hole I told my pilot to get the plane ready as I was missing the cut – I think I was a couple over – but then I think I played the next 27 holes in something like 19 under.
“One of those things must have clicked. Having also lost a play-off here I have some good memories and some sad memories. Hopefully I will have some more good ones after this week.
“It’s not a very long course and it is really wet. Its 16 years since I won here and when you play it now the trees have all grown in so it is different but hopefully I can do well.”
Five-time European Tour winner Barry Lane is also eyeing a good week in France as he looks to build on his victory in the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open. After struggling with his putting in the Casa Serena Open a fortnight ago, Lane has opted to use a long putter similar to the one employed by Woosnam.
“We’ve played here many times before as the Cannes Open was the first event of the season for a number of years so we know this place well,” said Lane. “I haven’t played for 15 years though so it is a little different – the trees have grown for sure!
“I’ve played really well recently but just putted poorly so I’m hoping for a good week here. I putted well in Scotland to win there but it was windy so it was right up my street. No-one was going to shoot 66 so I just played as I normally do and two-putted every green.
“In Casa Serena I putted terribly though. I had an average of 35.6 putts per round for one over par for the tournament. I’m playing well just not holing anything so I’ve gone with a long, long putter this week. But then I three-putted four of the first seven holes in the Pro-Am yesterday but after that it was actually ok. So we will see. I’ve just not been holing anything which is frustrating as I’ve been hitting every green.”