Thursday, 02 June 2011
Wayne Grady takes to the skies (photo by SAFOTO) ()
Wayne Grady takes to the skies (photo by SAFOTO) ()

Major winner Wayne Grady and defending champion Bill Longmuir made a flying start to the ISPS Handa Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum, taking to the skies over Stapleford Park to launch the second edition of the tournament.

The two players climbed into the cockpit of the Extra-300 LP planes and were treated to some stunts and manoeuvres by The Blades, the world's only globally accredited aerobatic airline, flying over the Leicestershire course.

They passed the south of the clubhouse and then performed a loop over the 18th green watched the rest of the field, which includes former Ryder Cup Captains Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam.

Longmuir, who captured the inaugural title last year by seven strokes for his eighth European Senior Tour victory, said: "It was a fantastic thing to do. I felt like a kid again. It’s like a rollercoaster ride and I didn't want to get off!"

Grady, the 1990 US PGA Champion, added:  “It was incredible. I have my own plane but that was a whole new experience, so much fun. I want to do it again. It was a great way to kick off the tournament.”

The ISPS Handa Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum begins on Friday and is the first part of a double-header in England, with the De Vere Club PGA Seniors Championship to follow next week at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FOWLER, PeterAUS18-10
2OLDCORN, AndrewSCO18-7
4BRAND JNR, GordonSCO18-4
5RUANGKIT, BoonchuTHA18-2
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