The European Seniors Tour moves from Barbados to Tobago this week for the Tobago Plantations Seniors Classic at the Tobago Plantations Beach and Golf Resort, where defending champion Carl Mason of England will attempt to secure the tenth victory of his remarkable Seniors Tour Career.
Mason joined the Seniors Tour in the middle of the 2003 season and since then has dominated the circuit, winning the Order of Merit in both 2003 and 2004 and establishing himself as the undisputed Seniors Tour Number One.
The 51 year old beat Australian David Good by three strokes at the glorious 6752 yard par 72 Tobago Plantations Beach and Golf Resort last year, with 2003 champion Terry Gale of Australia finishing in third place alongside South Africa’s Jeff Hawkes.
Gale will be a major threat to Mason this week, and he will no doubt cast his mind back to the wonderful start he made in the Caribbean at the beginning of the 2003 season, when he took both the Tobago Plantations Seniors Classic and the Royal Westmoreland Barbados Open.
Scotland’s John Chillas finished second to Gale in Tobago two seasons ago, as well as in 2002, before taking fifth place at the same event last season. The 58 year old, who has two European Seniors Tour victories to his name, can again have a big influence in this, the second event of the 2005 Seniors Tour Schedule.
Chillas’s compatriot, Bill Longmuir, is another star name of the Seniors Tour sure to pose a threat to Mason’s chances of that tenth victory. Longmuir finished fifth on the 2005 Seniors Tour Order of Merit after notching two victories and a further seven top ten finishes.
With Chillas and Longmuir posing the Scottish threat to Englishman Mason’s Tobago Plantations Seniors Classic crown, Eamonn Darcy and Denis O’Sullivan will represent the Irish challenge.
Darcy is one of Ireland’s most celebrated golfers having represented Europe in four Ryder Cups – including that unforgettable win over America at Muirfield Village, Colombus, Ohio, USA, in 1987, when the 52 year old scored an invaluable Singles victory over Ben Crenshaw as Tony Jacklin’s European Team brought the Samuel Ryder Trophy back across the Atlantic.
O’Sullivan, meanwhile, is the man in form after opening the 2005 Seniors Tour season with victory at the DGM Barbados Open last week. The 56 year old, who will celebrate his 57th birthday on Friday, won the first event of 2005 by three strokes from John Grace of the USA and will be hoping to continue that rich vein of form in Tobago.