Horacio Carbonetti will breathe in the clean, crisp air of the Swiss Alps this week and focus on lifting his name into the record books alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo.
The 57 year old from Argentina will make European Seniors Tour history on Sunday if he is crowned champion of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open at Golf Club Bad Ragaz for the third year in succession.
Only seven golfers have managed to win the same European Tour tournament for three years in a row and if Carbonetti can lift the Bad Ragaz trophy once again, he will join a prestigious list that comprises the following: England’s Neil Coles (De Vere PGA Seniors Championship); South African Ernie Els (Heineken Classic 2002, 03, 04 and on two separate occasions in the HSBC World Match Play Championship); England’s Faldo (Irish Open 1991, 92, 93); Colin Montgomerie of Scotland (PGA Championship 1998, 99, 2000); Ireland’s Christy O’Connor (De Vere PGA Seniors Championship); American and World Number One Woods (WGC – NEC Invitational 1999, 2000, 01); and Welshman Ian Woosnam (Monte Carlo Open 1990, 91, 92).
To join such lofty company would be a magnificent achievement for Carbonetti, whose best finish during a career on the regular Tour was tied 19th at the 1981 KLM Dutch Open.
But the South American’s game was given a new lease of life by winning the Seniors Tour Qualifying School in 2002 and he went on to triumph twice in Bad Ragaz and finish second at the Tobago Plantations Seniors Classic in March this year.
This renewed confidence was there for all to see at Golf Club Bad Ragaz last year when Carbonetti produced a brilliant finish to catch Englishman Denis Durnian and then defeat him in a play-off.
The Argentine finished eagle, birdie, birdie to take Durnian into a shoot-out, which he won on the first extra hole by making a par.
Durnian is back again this year and another man with form over the course is Australian Bob Shearer, a four-time winner on the Seniors Tour who captured this title back in 1999.
The field will also welcome a new Member, former Ryder Cup player Gordon J. Brand, who only turned 50 on August 6 and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of current Order of Merit leader Carl Mason and achieve success on the European Seniors Tour having been a referee on the circuit.