Thursday, 18 November 2010
Launch of the Handa Australian Senior Open (Tom Rovis-Hermann)
Launch of the Handa Australian Senior Open (Tom Rovis-Hermann)

Western Australia will play host to a historic occasion this week as four Major winners ascend on Royal Perth Golf Club for the Handa Australian Senior Open.

Headlining the stellar field will be 1991 Open Champion Ian Baker-Finch who makes his debut as a senior golfer in Perth. 

“It’s great to be here, I won my first tournament in Australia at the 1984 Western Australian Open, so I’ve got very fond memories of Royal Perth.  I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time”, said Baker-Finch.

“There is going to be some good golf this week from some great players.  The standard across the field this week is far superior than last week in Melbourne.  You have more Major champions and tournament winners here in Perth – we have Masters Champions, Open Champions, PGA Champions and Ryder Cup Captains.  There is certainly a lot of competition and great players. 

“But I’m not expecting too much. I’m not a regular on the Tour and will only play occasionally.  To pretend to be able to compete with some of these guys would be unfair and unrealistic.”

Joining Baker-Finch will be fellow Australian 1990 US PGA Champion Wayne Grady, who won the Handa Australian Senior Open title in consecutive years at Concord Golf Club in 2007 and 2008, and defending champion Mike Harwood. 

“We spend a long time away but it’s great being back in Australia. I love being home and it’s fantastic to be back playing at Royal Perth as defending champion.  The course looks even better than last year and I’m really look forward to this year’s competition”, said Harwood.

With the co-sanction agreement between the European Senior Tour and PGA of Australia, these Australian legends will be joined by 1992 US Masters Champion Ian Woosnam, 1988 US Masters Champion Sandy Lyle, and former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance as the headline names from Europe. 

“I’ve always enjoyed playing in Australia,” said Torrance. “The Senior Tour is just like the main Tour now – we travel around the world.  It’s building every year and with great players joining it’s gone from strength to strength.  We are all mates on the Tour and always have been, but we’re still competitive.” 

Talking further about the role of the Dr Handa, Chairman of ISPS and the efforts to promote blind golf, Torrance added: “Dr Handa has been a wonderful addition to the Tour.  Dr Handa is a great man who does so much good around the world. Golf is a wonderful sport for blind people to play.”

As part of ISPS’s aim to raise awareness for blind golf, Australian golf great Peter Senior attended the Western Australian Blind Golf Open at Collier Park earlier in the day where he spoke to talented blind golfers from across the country.

The Handa Australian Senior Open will be played at Royal Perth Golf Club from 19-21 November 2010.  This is the second year the tournament will be hosted by Royal Perth Golf Club after an exciting finish to the 2009 event that went down to the wire in a sudden death 3 way play-off between eventual winner Mike Harwood, Michael Clayton and Peter Senior.

Entry to event is by gold coin donation with all proceeds going to support blind golf in Western Australia.

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