England’s Carl Mason, leading money winner on the European Seniors Tour for the past two seasons, will be looking to get back on the winning trail this week when the Seniors make their historic first visit to Egypt for the Jolie Ville Sharm El Shiekh Seniors Open.
Mason has won nine titles since turning 50 in June 2003 to dominate the seniors circuit and after two fourth place finishes in the opening events of the season in the Caribbean, he will be bidding to take his tally into double figures when he tees up at the Jolie Ville Golf Hotel, Sharm El Shiekh.
Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan and Luis Carbonetti of Argentina, winners of the first two events of the season in the Caribbean, will be hoping to continue their successful exploits under the Egyptian sun.
O’Sullivan has already tasted victory in North Africa having won the Tunisian Seniors Open in 2002 and will be chasing his seventh victory on the European Seniors Tour.
O’Sullivan, one of Ireland’s finest amateur golfers prior to turning professional upon reaching the age of 50, will be joined in Egypt by one of his country’s greatest professionals, Eamonn Darcy.
Darcy has finished second four times since joining the senior ranks in 2002 and will be looking to go one better now the 2005 season is underway. Prior to turning 50, he won four titles and approaching £2 million in career earnings during a European Tour career stretching back to 1971. He was a member of the Irish team that won the 1988 Alfred Dunhill Cup at St Andrews but the highlight of his career came 12 months earlier in The Ryder Cup when he holed a four foot downhill putt on the 18th green at Muirfield Village to defeat Ben Crenshaw in the singles and in the process help Tony Jacklin's European side win the Matches for the first time on US soil.
Fronted by the Red Sea, and with the backdrop of Mount Sinai, the Jolie Ville Golf and Resort is a unique venue that is sure to provide inspiration to the 72 players competing for the €29,586 first prize on offer this week. Last season, the venue hosted the first international golf tournament when the European Challenge Tour visited Sharm El Sheikh for the first time.
Now the Seniors Tour – with the support of promoters WSM – is continuing that pioneering association with golf in Egypt at the Jolie Ville Sharm El Shiekh Seniors Open.