A powerful American contingent is already guaranteed for The 2006 Senior British Open Championship, presented by Aberdeen Asset Management, with defending champion Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller and Tom Kite among the early entrants for the £1 million tournament at The Westin Turnberry Resort, Scotland, from July 27-30.
Zoeller has not played in the Championship since 2003, when it was last held at Turnberry, and the charismatic American is planning to mark his return to the famed Ailsa Course by bringing along his own fan club to cheer him on.
“We Americans are going over there determined to win a Major, but who says we can’t bring along some golf fans and have some fun at the same time?” said the former Masters Tournament and US Open Champion, who finished in a share of 14th place three years ago.
Watson is another golfer who is certain to receive strong support as he goes in search of what would be his third Senior British Open Championship title and his third Major Championship over the Ailsa Course.
The five-time Open winner entered Turnberry folklore when he triumphed over Jack Nicklaus to win the memorable ‘Duel in the Sun’ Open Championship of 1977, before writing another chapter in that success story by defeating England’s Carl Mason in a sudden-death play-off at The Senior British Open Championship in 2003, the last time the event was played at the Ayrshire venue.
A year later, compatriot Pete Oakley became the first qualifier to go on to lift the prestigious trophy, beating Kite and Eduardo Romero by a stroke at Royal Portrush, before Watson won again at Royal Aberdeen in 2005 when he overcame Ireland’s Des Smyth in another play-off.
Kite has finished second and fourth in two of the past three years and if his early season form is anything to go by – he has already won on the 2006 US Champions Tour at the AT&T Classic and is third on the money list– the 1992 US Open winner will be among the favourites again this July.
Tickets to The 2006 Senior British Open Championship, presented by Aberdeen Asset Management – a tournament jointly sanctioned by The R&A, the European Seniors Tour and the US Champions Tour – can be purchased by telephoning the Ticketline on 01334 460010, or by logging on at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
A season ticket (which allows entry to the course on all four tournament days plus the practice day on Wednesday July 26) is priced at £50 if purchased before July 1, 2006, and £60 thereafter. A one-day ticket costs £15 (£20) and entry to the practice day is £10. There is no entry charge for U-16s, providing they are accompanied by an adult, and car parking is also free.