Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Ian Woosnam (pic by Phil Inglis) ()
Ian Woosnam (pic by Phil Inglis) ()

Ian Woosnam could hardly be coming in to this week’s Senior Open Championship in better form, having picked up his first Senior Tour victory in two years just a month ago, but he knows he will have to play “proper golf” is he is to claim his first Senior Major at Walton Heath Golf Club, Surrey.

The Welshman, currently sitting pretty in fourth spot in the Senior Tour Order of Merit rankings, also racked up his best ever finish in a Senior major in last year’s Senior Open Championship in Carnoustie.

A stunning round of 67 on the second day on that occasion put him right in contention but it wasn’t enough to keep Bernhard Langer from the first of a superb major double.

And, speaking ahead of Thursday’s opening round, for which he is paired with Tom Kite and Corey Pavin, Woosnam was cautiously confident in his game’s suitability to the spectacular heathland course in Surrey.

“I’m a little bit more confident after the win. The course is beautiful, this is a proper golf course and whoever wins is going to play some proper golf,” said the former Masters champion.

“It's playing long, you've got to hit the ball properly.  If you hit in the air, and I hit it in there a couple of times yesterday, you're at a big risk of trying to get out of it.”

The former Ryder Cup winning captain was notably impressed by the greens at Walton Heath and the deceivingly difficult challenge that they present.

“The greens have a great surface but a lot of subtle burrows and the land lies toward the clubhouse a little bit. 

“You have to be wary of that a little bit but I'm looking forward to the challenge.  If you win here, you know you've won. “

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1COCHRAN, RussUSA18-12
T3PAVIN, CoreyUSA18-9
5LANE, BarryENG18-8
6FROST, DavidRSA18-7
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