England's Denis Durnian returns to the scene of his finest triumph when he starts out in his quest to defend this week's Wales Seniors Open at Royal St David's.
Durnian returns in a confident mood but will face a strenuous test against a strong field that includes New Zealand's Bob Charles, local hero, Brian Huggett, England's Tony Jacklin, Ireland's Christy O'Connor Jnr.
Durnian produced one of the finest comebacks of the 2002 Seniors Tour season after opening with a five over par 74 that left him trailing seven shots behind the first round leaders. The Englishman repaired most of the damage with a blistering four under 65 that left him two shots off the pace heading into the final round and then claimed the title after a closing round of level par 69 for a one over par aggregate of 208.
Durnian goes into this year's tournament with the support of the local club behind him having been made an Honorary Member in recognition of last year's feat and will start out among the favourites but arguably his biggest threat will come Christy O'Connor Jnr who returns from the United States for what will be his second start on this season's Seniors Tour.
O'Connor has been plagued by back problems since breaking his ankle in a freak motorcycle accident at the start of 2001 but still managed to put together rounds of 73, 68, 71 to finish tied for third place four shots behind winner, Seiji Ebihara, at the AIB Irish Seniors Open at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort.
The Japanese golfer is the form horse on this season's Seniors Tour. Ebihara he claimed the AIB Irish Seniors Open title and has since also finished tied for fourth behind Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge at the Microlease Jersey Seniors Masters at La Moye.
Ebihara and Cambridge will be joined in the Wales Seniors Open field by Steve Stull, Peter Townsend and Gary Wintz, the other three winners to date on this year's Seniors Tour, but much attention will also focus on the performances of Charles, Huggett and Jacklin.
Charles, 1963 Open champion, crosses the Atlantic to make his first start of the 2002 Seniors Tour season while Jacklin, the former Open and US Open champion, makes his fifth start of the 2002 Senior Tour season. Huggett will be determined to put up a good performance at Royal St in front of his home fans.