Two-time Major Champion Sandy Lyle will make his debut in the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open when he attempts to reignite his European Senior Tour Order of Merit challenge at Fairmont St Andrews next week (August 19-21).
The Scotsman was the early season pacesetter on the Senior Tour following top five finishes in Australia and Japan and his first tournament victory in 19 years in the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship presented by Mission Hills China.
However he has since slipped to eighth place on the Order of Merit and with eight events remaining on the 2011 Senior Tour schedule, Lyle will be hoping to make up ground and become the first home winner of the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open since former Ryder Cup teammate Sam Torrance in 2006.
Lyle, winner of the 1985 Open Championship and 1988 Masters Tournament, joined the Senior Tour in 2008 but so far his schedule has prevented him from playing in the tournament, which marks its 19th edition this year.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the home fans again,” said Lyle. “Scottish fans always give me a fantastic reception and hopefully I can perform well for them.
“I started the season off very strongly but it’s not been as good over the past two or three months so I’m hoping to recapture my form and next week would certainly be a good time to do that.
“It was nice to have that winning feeling again earlier this year in China but to win in Scotland, at the Home of Golf, would be extra special.”
Another Scotsman aiming to boost his Order of Merit aspirations at Fairmont St Andrews is Andrew Oldcorn, who is currently third behind Tom Watson and Peter Fowler in the 2011 season standings.
Oldcorn is just ahead of former World Number One Ian Woosnam and Barry Lane, the defending champion, who are both also in the field.
Lane captured his maiden European Senior Tour title over the Torrance Course last year, completing a Scottish double 22 years after also winning his first of five European Tour titles in the land where golf was born in the 1988 Scottish Open.
The Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open is once again being supported by EventScotland, the national events agency, and there will be a strong Scottish presence alongside Lyle and Oldcorn.
Former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance, who helped design the links course at Fairmont St Andrews, and Gordon Brand Jnr are also in the field, along with 2004 winner Bill Longmuir, John Chillas, Ross Drummond and Fraser Mann.