Bob Shearer returns to the picturesque Bad Ragaz course in Switzerland as the defending champion with the chance of regaining the top spot in the Seniors Tour Order of Merit.
Twelve months ago Shearer collected his third seniors title in just over a year with a tournament record 12-under-par 198. It gave him a three shot margin over American David Oakley who chased the Melbourne man home with a 66 for second place on 281.
Shearer, winner of the 1999 Jersey Seniors Open and the Phillips PFA built his victory around a second record-equalling 63 which gave him a three-shot cushion going into the final round.
With €34,372 (£20,825) on offer for the first prize Shearer has the chance to regain the number one spot which he occupied for much of the season before Christy O’Connor Jnr overhauled him with his win in the Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard. Although victory has eluded Shearer so far this season he started the year with a third and two second place finishes and currently trails O’Connor Jnr by €31,587. Neither O’Connor Jnr nor Neil Coles in second place are playing this week, opening the door for Shearer.
Another Australian Ian Stanley has shown a recent run of form, winning the Coca-Cola Kaiser Karl European Trophy and finishing runner-up last week, and could once again be in the running. David Creamer, who claimed his first Seniors Tour title with victory in the Energis Senior Masters at Wentworth Club last week, will be brimming with confidence as he attempts to win back-to-back titles.
Bobby Verwey and Brian Waites, champions at Bad Ragaz in the 1998 and 1997 respectively are also in the field.