Carl Mason will attempt to become the most prolific winner in European Senior Tour history at the inaugural Van Lanschot Senior Open at the Royal Haagsche Golf and Country Club in The Hague.
The Englishman equalled his compatriot Tommy Horton’s record of 23 Senior Tour victories with his win in Switzerland last week and would love to reach the magical 24 in The Netherlands.
The Senior Tour returns to Holland for the first time in nine years this week – the last Dutch event to be played on the Senior Tour Schedule, won by Australian David Good, was the Legends in Golf at Crayestein Golf in 2001.
Mason did not have a single Senior Tour title to his name nine years ago, but since becoming a Member in 2003 the 57 year old has been a dominant force on the circuit. He is now looking to continue his dominance of last week’s Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in the €250,000 Van Lanschot Senior Open.
“When I set out I never would have dreamed I would win 23 titles. It’s been incredible,” said Mason.
“I would love to make it 24 but who knows? It took a while to match Tommy’s record and it would be
great to pass it. To be honest I didn’t feel that comfortable last week but luck was on my side.”
Mason will have to overcome the two men who have been the other main forces in European Senior golf over the past few years, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, if he wants to break Horton’s record.
Order of Merit leader Boonchu Ruangkit, winner of three consecutive titles at the start of the season, will also tee it up, along with English duo David J Russell and Gordon Brand Jnr and South African John Bland, all of whom have tasted success this season.
The man who narrowly missed out on victory in the last event on Dutch soil is also looking forward to setting the record straight. American Jerry Bruner lost in a play-off to Good nine years ago, and is hoping to go one better this time around.
Bruner said: “I played well except in the play-off. He beat me at the first extra hole because I three putted so it was pretty disappointing. I had a long putt uphill and left it about six feet short, then I missed the second putt.
“I felt like I should have won it in regulation, to be honest. I shouldn’t have let it go to a play-off because I was playing well, but David did well.
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Holland. It’s a country I like and I tend to play well there. It’s a different course from the 2001 event (the Legends in Golf) but let’s hope history repeats itself – except maybe this time I can win there.
“I’m happy with how I’m playing and feel like I’m heading there in good shape. I’m excited about it.”
The Royal Haagsche Golf and Country Club – more commonly known simply as The Hague – was founded in 1893 and is the oldest golf club in the Netherlands. The club hosted the first Dutch Open in 1912 and then on 18 subsequent occasions in the period up to 1981.
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