Scotland's David Huish will attempt to become the first player to win a hat-trick of European Seniors Tour titles when he tees up in the sixth Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open staged over the picturesque Bad Ragaz course in Switzerland.
Huish, the Course Manager and Head Professional at North Berwick, won the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in both 2000 and 2001 and is now hoping to become the first player since the birth of the European Seniors Tour to win the same title three times in a row.
That feat has, however, been achieved once before when the legendary Christy O'Connor captured the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship three times in succession before the European Seniors Tour was launched in 1992. "Himself", as he is known to his legion of fans, won his first De Vere PGA Seniors title at Huish's home course of North Berwick in 1981 and then went on to repeat that success at both Longniddry in 1982 and Burnham in 1983.
Now, some nineteen years later, Huish travels to Switzerland attempting to replicate that feat, after two stunning performances over the last two years.
Two years ago, Huish came to Bad Ragaz on the crest of a wave having won the Lawrence Batley Seniors title about a month before. He opened with a three over par 73 but then bounced right back into contention with a course record 62, a score that tied Tommy Horton's European Seniors Tour 18 hole record set at the Scottish Open in 1997, before completing the job with a final round 65 that saw him finish on ten under par 200.
On that occasion, Huish enjoyed a four shot winning margin over Jim Rhodes but last year it proved to be much closer. For a while, the Scot seemed destined to secure his second successive outright victory when he closed with a 64 for a three round aggregate of 12 under par 198. But then, just when it seemed the €33,600 (£20,825) winner's cheque was his, Australia's David Good eagled the16th hole and then birdied the 18th hole to tie. That set up an engrossing sudden-death play-off, which was finished quickly when Huish holed a 20 foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to win.
Huish is not the only competitor with warm memories of the Bad Ragaz tournament. This year the field also includes two other former winners, Bobby Verwey (1998) and Bob Shearer (1999), as well as the Canadian golfer who recorded the lowest round of the 2001 in last season's final round.
John Irwin, from Prince Edward Island, Canada, went into last year's tournament languishing outside the top 50 on the Order of Merit but put all his troubles behind when he recorded a 62 that saw him jump up into a share of third place alongside America's Bob Lendzion.
This year, Irwin goes into the Swiss tournament in much better shape, having finished second at the recent Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard. He is currently in fourth place on the Order of Merit, behind the Number One, Seiji Ebihara, who will start out as favourite in Switzerland.
The Japanese golfer has been in fabulous form this season, winning three times at the AIB Irish Seniors, the Wales Seniors Open and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship amassing over €254,585. He is one of six 2002 winners in the Bad Ragaz field, the others being Peter Townsend (Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open), Steve Stull (Tobago Plantations Seniors), Gary Wintz (Flanders Nippon presents Legend in Golf), Delroy Cambridge (Microlease Jersey Seniors Masters) and Bernard Gallacher (The Mobile Cup).