Sam Torrance makes his eagerly awaited European Seniors Tour debut this week when he tees up in the Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open at the Roxburghe just five days after celebrating his 50th birthday.
Europe’s victorious 2002 Ryder Cup Captain turned 50 on Sunday and begins another chapter in his illustrious career on home soil.
Torrance has enjoyed considerable success on The European Tour since making his debut in 1972, winning 21 titles on The European Tour International Schedule and ten other titles worldwide. He has played a record 685 events over three decades amassing €5,422,644 on official prize money.
During that time his name has also become synonymous with The Ryder Cup, representing Europe eight times as a player before memorably captaining the European Team to victory in 2002 at The De Vere Belfry. That victory came 17 years after Torrance had the honour of holing the winning putt, at the same venue, that saw Europe win the trophy for the first time since 1957.
Torrance has also tasted previous success on home soil, winning the Scottish Professional Championship five times between 1978 and 1993 and will be hoping to add to those victories at the Roxburghe.
“I’ve been looking forward to the Seniors Tour for some time and it’s great to know I will have home support for my debut in Scotland in the Charles Church Scottish Seniors over a great course at the Roxburghe,” said Torrance.
“The Seniors Tour is very competitive and I am looking forward to meeting many of my old friends and rivals from The European Tour.”
The Scottish Challenge is further strengthened by John Chillas and Bill Longmuir, second and third in the Seniors Tour Order of Merit behind England’s Carl Mason. Chillas made his winning breakthrough after a number of near misses a fortnight ago when he won the Travis Perkins Senior Masters at Wentworth Club while Longmuir has won twice, in the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship, since turning 50 in June. Mike Miller is the third Scot to have won this season having claimed the Nigel Mansell Seniors Classic, presented by Sunseeker International, on Sunday.
Last year’s title was won by England’s Denis Durnian when he crowned his “most enjoyable week on Tour,” at his “favourite venue of the year,” with a six stroke victory over Neil Coles, Tommy Horton, Martin Gray and Alan Tapie.
The Roxburghe, the pride and joy of owner The Duke of Roxburghe, is set in 200 acres of spectacular countryside. Designed by Dave Thomas and opened in 1997, the course follows the natural contours and features of the local area.
This will be the 11th edition of the Scottish Seniors Open, which began in 1993 at Royal Aberdeen, and past champions reads like a Who's Who of seniors golf with Coles, Antonio Garrido, Horton (twice), Brian Huggett, David Huish, John Morgan, Noel Ratcliffe and David Oakley all winning the title prior to Durnian. This will be the third season at The Roxburghe where Tonge International have joined to co-promote the event with the European Seniors Tour.