Northern Ireland's Eddie Polland heads back to the scene of his first European Seniors Tour triumph when he tees up in this week's Lawrence Batley Seniors at Huddersfield Golf Club.
Polland, 53, triumphed when he finished two shots ahead of Spain's Antonio Garrido with rounds of 66, 66 and 72 for a nine under par aggregate of 204. Later, he went on to complete his most successful Seniors season to date, also winning the Senior Tournament of Champions at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club and finishing second on the 1999 European Seniors Tour Order of Merit with 106,977 euro.
Polland defends his title against a strong field that includes Bob Shearer, currently No. 1 on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit, Tommy Horton, winner of the Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open, Brian Huggett, winner of the Beko Classic and Neil Coles, who created history when he won a professional event for the sixth successive decade at the recent Microlease Jersey Seniors Open.
Shearer, who heads the Tour's Order of Merit with earnings of 72,605 euro from three events, returns to competitive action after missing the Jersey event and will be looking for his first win of the season after finishing second at both the Beko Classic and the AIB Irish Seniors Open at Tulfarris GC.
Also hoping to enter the winner's circle will be America's Jerry Bruner, who has still to record his maiden victory on the European Seniors Tour, but who has recorded six second place finishes in 21 starts, including two so far this season at the Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open and the Microlease Jersey Seniors Open.
This year's Lawrence Batley Seniors event, the ninth in a sequence stretching back to 1992, has attracted five of its seven previous winners, namely Alberto Croce (1995), Antonio Garrido (1997), Malcolm Gregson (1996) and Bobby Verwey (the champion in 1992 and 1998). The only two previous champions to be missing are Peter Butler, the winner in 1993, who no longer plays as much as he once did, and John Morgan, the winner in 1994, who is competing in the United States. Lawrence Batley remains one of European golf's biggest supporters having sponsored nine Seniors Tour and seven European Tour events.