Ryder Cup stars Costantino Rocca and José Rivero head to the beautiful Geneva region of France chasing a unique double this week as they aim to add the Open de France Senior de Divonne – last won by England’s Bob Cameron in 2004 – to the French Open titles they collected on The European Tour.
Sixteen years have passed since Rocca secured a thrilling play-off victory over Ireland’s Paul McGinley at Le Golf National, but the Italian remains as ferociously competitive as ever and has already made a big impact since joining the European Seniors Tour this season.
Rocca will be making his debut in this year’s tournament and, having already won in Ireland and finished tied fourth in Wales, he will be among the prime contenders for the €48,750 first prize along with Spaniard Rivero, who captured the French Open crown on The 1987 European Tour when he produced a 19 under par total at St Cloud Golf Club.
This week, the pair are back on another of France’s great golf courses at Golf du Domaine de Divonne. Located near the Swiss border and with stunning views of Mont Blanc and the Alps, Golf du Domaine de Divonne opened in 1931 and is one of the oldest courses in the Geneva region. With its superb casino and the 5-star Grand Hotel, Divonne is known as a fine and exclusive resort.
In the past it has hosted most of the world’s greatest players such as Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer and 1998 Open Champion Mark O’Meara of the United States is the current course record holder with a score of 64.
Cameron will travel there as defending champion having made his winning breakthrough on the European Seniors Tour at Omaha Beach Golf Club, Normandy, three years ago.
The Englishman said: “It is great news to be returning to France. Your first win is always the most important and my success at Omaha Beach gave me the confidence to go on to win in Italy later that same season, which remains my best year on the Seniors Tour.”
The field also contains six of the eight winners so far this season – Gordon J Brand of England, Nick Job of England, Bobby Lincoln of South Africa, Carl Mason of England, Simon Owen of New Zealand and Rocca – in addition to Neil Coles of England, who won the Leman International Senior Trophy on the Seniors Tour’s last visit to Golf du Domaine de Divonne in 1991.
|T3||BRAND, Gordon J||ENG||18||-6|