Last year Noel Ratcliffe consolidated his place at the head of the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit when he won for the second time that season at Glyfada but this year he is not quite so well placed, lying back in third spot on the Order of Merit, despite winning both the Beko Classic in Turkey and the De Vere Hotels Senior Classic at the De Vere Slaley Hall.
Ratcliffe has already won 203,161 euro (£127,273) to date this season, 39,994 euro (£32,409) more than he won during the whole of his 2000 campaign, but he still finds himself 50,008 euro (£31,328) behind current Order of Merit leader, Ian Stanley, and 39,378 euro (£24,669) adrift of the second-placed Denis Durnian.
Fellow Australian Stanley, a double winner on this year's European Seniors Tour having won the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship and the Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard, and his English rival Durnian, winner of the lucrative Wales Seniors Open, are both in the field at Glyfada and so, too, are America's David Oakley, Brazil's Priscillo Diniz, Australia's David Good, England's Nick Job and Scotland's David Huish, all of whom have posted at least one victory during the 2001 season.
The Greek event also gives former European Seniors Tour winners such as England's Tommy Horton, John Morgan and Maurice Bembridge, Northern Ireland's Eddie Polland, Australia's Ross Metherell and America's Jeff Van Wagenen the chance to chalk up their first success of the 2001 season and affords newcomers like New Zealand's Simon Owen, Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, Australia's Rodger Davis and Scotland's Russell Weir the chance to build on what they have achieved already.
Owen, who is currently sixth on the Order of Merit with 159,812 euro (£100,116), is the favourite to win the Ping Rookie of the Year title but he could still be overhauled by the impressive Jamaican, Delroy Cambridge, who has still not achieved his goal of winning a Seniors Tour title but has notched no less than eight top ten finishes, including a tie for second behind Japan's Seiji Ebihara at the Microlease Jersey Masters.
Further down the money list, Davis, a winner of seven European Tour titles and a further 22 elsewhere around the world, has made a solid, if unspectacular, start to his career on the European Seniors Tour, finishing tied for 17th on his first time out at the Energis Senior Masters at Wentworth, claiming his first top ten finish when tieing for ninth place at the Scottish Seniors Open at The Roxburghe and then coming in tied for 11th place alongside Cambridge at the subsequent STC Bovis Lend Lease European Invitational over the Duke's course at Woburn.
At Woburn, Scottish duo Russell Weir and John Chillas both finished in a share of 23rd place and now come to Glyfada attempting to win a sufficient amount of prizemoney to avoid having to go to this year's European Seniors Tour Qualifying School in Portugal.
At the moment, Weir, the club pro a Cowal, and a winner of over one hundred Tartan Tour titles, is the better placed, lying in 50th on the European Seniors Tour's Order of Merit with earnings of 28,630 euro (£17,936) but his compatriot, Chillas, the current Scottish Professional champion, is a further 50 places lower down the list, having won 3,202 euro (£2,006) on his first two starts.
This is the third TEMES Seniors Open to be staged at Glyfada GC. Twelve months ago, Ratcliffe succeeded Albero Croce as champion, the Italian having closed with a fine four under par 68 before defeating Spain's Antonio Garrido with a birdie on the first hole of the subsequent sudden death play off.