With a troublesome neck injury on the mend and a successful house move now behind him, Ian Woosnam is focusing all his attention now on finally landing a Senior Tour title in his native Wales.
The 52 year old Welshman won the Epson Grand Prix on The European Tour twenty years ago in 1990 but, despite sterling performances in both The Celtic Manor Wales Open on The European Tour and in The Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open on the over 50s circuit, victory has eluded him thus far.
The successful 2006 Ryder Cup Captain finished tied third in The Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open at Royal Porthcawl last year and second behind Peter Mitchell at Conwy in 2008 and is determined to right that statistic in front of his adoring public in Porthcawl this week.
“You are always under pressure to perform well at home,” he said. “It is like the Irish Open when Shane Lowry was the first Irishman to win their event for years. You don’t want to let your crowd down and you just put that little bit of added pressure on yourself which means you sometimes try that little bit too hard.
“Last year I got to the situation where I was the joint leader in the final round but I had a couple of bad finishing holes and the year before Peter Mitchell just played some great golf. But I will be trying to take that one step forward this year, that’s for sure.
“There has been a lot going on for me of late which has all amounted to it being just a so-so season so far. I’ve had a bad neck although I seem to have sorted it out a little bit and I’ve been moving house as well which has been a bit stressful. But hopefully all that is settling down now so I can play some decent golf.
“I’m the type of player whose confidence can grow as I start playing. I’ll play in the pro-am today and I practiced well yesterday on the range and so I am going to try that on the course and if that goes well and I play well, my confidence can come back.”
Joining Woosnam in the field will be another former Ryder Cup winning Captain, Sam Torrance, who beat his rival to the 2009 Order of Merit crown, and indeed there are 13 players who played in The Ryder Cup over the years in action.
Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit, the current Order of Merit leader, continues his attempt to win the John Jacobs Trophy while the Senior Tour’s latest champion, Marc Farry of France, will seek to join him as the only back-to-back winner so far this season having claimed the silverware in Ireland last week.
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