The 2010 European Senior Tour campaign resumes this week when Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, last season’s Order of Merit top two, go head-to-head in The Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum.
Torrance returns to Brunei’s spectacular Empire Hotel and Country Club, where his tied sixth place finish in the inaugural event last year launched a fine season which culminated in the Scot lifting his third John Jacobs Trophy.
The 2002 Ryder Cup Captain began his defence of that crown with a share of third place in the season curtain raiser in Mauritius and will be eager to carry forward his form into the second event on the 2010 schedule.
“I feel like I’m playing well at the moment and I’m confident every time I go out on the course so hopefully that will continue in Brunei,” said the 56 year old. “Last year I finished tied sixth after winning the final event of the 2008 season so that really set me up for the good year I went on to have.
“I’ve already started this season well in Mauritius so I’m keen to keep it going in Brunei and I’d love to get another win under my belt.”
Former World Number One Woosnam is making his maiden appearance in The Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum and returns to action for the first time in the 2010 season having missed out on last year’s Order of Merit top spot by just €3,380.
The Welshman, who captured the John Jacobs Trophy in his rookie season in 2008, will be hoping for a belated present after he celebrates his 52nd birthday on Tuesday (March 2).
He is joined in the field by fellow former Masters Champion Sandy Lyle, who returns to the Senior Tour fold for the first time since last year’s Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard, where he finished tied 13th. Scotsman Lyle recorded his best Senior Tour finish in this event last year, sharing sixth place with Torrance and England’s Glenn Ralph.
American Mike Cunning defends the title he won on his Senior Tour debut last year, when he finished two shots clear of Northern Ireland’s Jimmy Heggarty.
Cunning, who won the 1997 Asian Tour Order of Merit, put his knowledge of Asia to good effect – having played in the Brunei Open since 2006 – to become the first player since Denis Watson in the 2007 US Senior PGA Championship to win on his Senior Tour debut, a feat subsequently matched by Mike Allen in the 2009 US Senior PGA Championship.
“Winning in Brunei was huge for me,” said Cunning. “Everything had been leading up to turning 50 and then to win on my debut was fantastic. It couldn’t have happened at a better time with me not having any Tour to play on.”
England’s Kevin Spurgeon heads to Brunei as the Order of Merit leader having captured his maiden Senior Tour title in The Mauritius Commercial Bank Open before Christmas.
Spurgeon staged a brave final round fightback at Constance Belle Mare Plage to win by one stroke from former Ryder Cup player Gordon J Brand, who is also in the field this week.
Australian Mike Harwood, a five time winner on The European Tour, returns to action for the first time since winning the OKI Castellόn Senior Tour Championship to secure the Rookie of the Year Award.
The 2010 Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum is once again promoted by WSM Sponsorship and will be played over the 6840 yard, par 71 Jack Nicklaus designed course at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.