European Seniors Tour Members will head across the Atlantic en masse this week for the first Senior Major of the 2008 season, the US Senior PGA Championship.
An impressive total of 27 Members, one of the strongest groups in history to travel to the championship, will tee up this year at Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, New York, the scene of Europe’s famous Ryder Cup victory in 1995 where Bernard Gallacher’s men beat the Lanny Wadkins-led United States by 14 ½ - 13 ½.
Each one will be trying to emulate Zimbabwe’s Denis Watson who returns to defend his title after claiming the tournament last May at Kiawah Island.
Also among the European Seniors Tour players taking part will be three of European golf’s ‘big five’ from the 1980s, Major Winners Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam.
Langer, who joined the Seniors Tour after passing his 50th birthday last year, goes into the tournament in fine form following his tied for 15th in the Players Championship at Sawgrass and is currently leading the US Champions Tour Money List with two wins already this season.
Similarly Lyle, who turned 50 in February, heads for Oak Hill Country Club having marked the 20th anniversary of his Masters Tournament win by making the cut at Augusta National last month, finishing just two strokes behind 2006 Ryder Cup winning Captain Woosnam.
They will be joined in the field by the European Seniors Tour all-time leading money winner Carl Mason of England, Italian Ryder Cup player Costantino Rocca Ryder Cup winning Captain Sam Torrance of Scotland.
Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Seniors Tour, said: “We sincerely hope that one of our European Seniors Tour Members will be able to rekindle the memories of that famous Ryder Cup win in 1995 and go on to win the first Senior Major of the year.”
“Our thanks go to the PGA of America for their willingness to extend invitations to European Seniors Tour Members which in 2008 will see some of our most notable of players reaching the age of 50. It is fair to say that this group of players is one of the strongest to ever travel and compete for the Championship and we wish them every success in bringing the trophy home.”
The full list of European Seniors Tour Members participating is: Bob Boyd (USA); Gordon J. Brand (Eng); Delroy Cambridge (Jam); Bob Cameron (Eng); Luis Carbonetti (Arg); Bob Charles (Nzl); John Chillas (Sco); Ross Drummond (Sco); Mark James (Eng); Mark Johnson (USA); Nick Job (Eng); Bernhard Langer (Ger); Bill Longmuir (Sco); Sandy Lyle (Sco); Graham Marsh (Aus), Carl Mason (Eng); Mark McNulty (Ire), Greg Norman (Aus); Pete Oakley (USA); Juan Quiros (Esp); José Rivero (Esp); Costantino Rocca (Ita); Eduardo Romero (Arg); Des Smyth (Ire); Katsuyoshi Tomori (Jpn); Sam Torrance (Sco); and Ian Woosnam (Wal).