Sir Nick Faldo (Getty Images)
The 2011 European Senior Tour season will launch with two ISPS sponsored events, the Handa Australian Senior Open from November 19-21, 2010, and the Handa Cup Senior Masters from November 25-28, 2010.
The back to back co-sanctioned events, sponsored by ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) and its Chairman Dr Haruhisa Handa, held respectively at Royal Perth Golf Club in Perth, Australia, and Ohmurasaki Golf Club in Saitama, Japan, will feature the best senior players on the Tour as well some of the best local talents from the EZ-GO PGA Legends Tour in Australia and New Zealand and the Japan PGA Senior Tour.
At the Handa Australian Senior Open, home hero Ian Baker-Finch will make his debut as a senior golfer, competing against defending champion Mike Harwood, fellow Australian Wayne Grady and ISPS Ambassadors Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam for the AUS$ 400,000 prize fund.
The ISPS Ambassadors will also headline the Handa Cup Senior Masters, alongside local favourites Tateo Ozaki, Tsukasa Watanabe and Hajime Meshiai, all competing for a prize fund of JPY 120 million. This will be a milestone for the Tour as it is the first visit to Japan in its 19 year history.
Dr Handa, Chairman of ISPS said: “I am thrilled that the ISPS is playing such an active role on the European Senior Tour and the launch of the 2011 season. Through the partnerships with the PGA of Australia and Japan PGA, we have been able to bring the Senior Tour to new territories.
“It is also fantastic to see the number of high-profile names competing at these events such as Ian Baker-Finch, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Sam Torrance. The efforts they put in to help us develop the sport and raise awareness for blind golf is commendable.”
Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “We are looking forward to a tremendous start to the 2011 season in both Perth and Tokyo, and would like to thank ISPS and its Chairman Dr Handa, as well as the co-sanction partners, for their continued support of the Senior Tour.
“With Boonchu Ruangkit crowned as the 2010 Order of Merit winner only last week, there will be fierce competition to make a good start to the season. I’m sure 2011 will be another great year for the European Senior Tour.”
ISPS aims to develop the sport at a number of levels and supports a number of charitable causes. Throughout 2010 and beyond, ISPS has developed a collaboration to showcase the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) across a number of European Senior Tour events.
Ahead of the Handa Australian Senior Open, some of the Senior Tour’s biggest names will visit the Australian Blind Golf Open, while the Handa Cup Senior Masters will be attended by IBGA World Blind Golf Champion Jeremy Poincenot and one of the world’s best disabled golfers, Manuel De Los Santos as well as local players from the Japanese Blind Golf Association.