The 2011 European Senior Tour season resumes in on March 4 with a double-header in the Far East, where the $670,000 in prize money will ensure the Order of Merit takes on a very different shape at the end of the month.
Entries have now closed for both the Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum (March 4-6) and the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship presented by Mission Hills, which takes in China from March 11-13.
Current Senior Tour Order of Merit leader Sandy Lyle will tee it up in both tournaments, hoping to build on his promising start to the 2011 campaign. The two-time Major Champion, who celebrated his 53rd birthday last week, finished runner up in the Handa Senior Australian Senior Open and tied fifth in the Handa Cup Senior Masters.
Joining him in Brunei and China will be former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, who will be hoping to kick start their seasons in order to regain the Order of Merit crowns they won in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
All three players are ISPS ambassadors and will be helping to promote blind and disabled golf at the inaugural ISPS Handa Senior World Championship.
Defending his title in Brunei will be Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit, the reigning Order of Merit champion.
Ruangkit captured his maiden title at The Empire Hotel and Country Club 12 months ago, defeating Franki Minoza in a play-off, and went on to win his next two tournaments, in Thailand and South Africa, as well as the Benahavis Senior Masters in October, en route to capturing the John Jacobs Trophy.
Among the other challengers will be Carl Mason, who will attempt to create history by becoming the most prolific winner in Senior Tour history. The Englishman currently has 23 Senior Tour titles to his name, the same number as compatriot Tommy Horton.
The ISPS Handa Senior World Championship will also see the Senior Tour debut of former European Tour winner Andrew Sherborne, of England.
Sherborne won the Madrid Open in 1991 and the Open de Espana in 1992. He was also the leading amateur in The 1984 Open Championship at St Andrews and becomes eligible for the Senior Tour after celebrating his 50th birthday on the first day of the tournament (March 11).