Frenchman Marc Farry will return to the scene of his emotional home victory when he defends his Cannes Mougins Masters title this week.
Farry, who co-organises the tournament, claimed his second European Senior Tour title of the 2010 season in Cannes last year, although he almost let victory slip in a dramatic finish.
With Gordon Brand Jnr on his tail, he was forced to take an unplayable after finding the bushes on the 17th before eventually scrambling his way to a double bogey six.
The home favourite, who up to that point had looked solid, saw a three shot cushion over Brand Jnr reduced to one shot but the 52 year old managed to compose himself on the 18th and after both players found the green in regulation, Brand Jnr three putted from 25 feet to leave Farry with an easy tap in for the win in front of his family.
“It’s always a fantastic feeling to go into a tournament as defending champion but to go as defending champion into a tournament in your home country, that you also co-organise, is extra special,” said Farry.
“It will be a nice feeling and probably a little extra pressure but I don’t mind that. You have to cope with the pressure.
“Last year I felt some pressure but I dealt with it and it was great having my wife and daughter there, who were both working for the tournament.
“Playing in the French Open on The European Tour was always special for me and although I came close, finishing fourth, fifth, I never got my hands on the trophy so it was special to win in France on the Senior Tour.”
The Frenchman enters his title defence on the back of his best performance of the 2011 season, after he finished tied fifth at the Casa Serena Open in the Czech Republic last week and he is feeling confident of putting on a good show on home soil.
“I feel like I’m hitting the ball well but just not making the putts,” said Farry. “Last week gave me some confidence though. I played well in Woburn too and it was nice to get a top ten two weeks later.”
Farry will be joined by Casa Serena Open champion Barry Lane as he goes in search of a third win in four tournaments. Lane will also be hoping to better Order of Merit leader Peter Fowler in Cannes as he looks to overtake the Australian in the race for the John Jacobs Trophy.
He moved to within €13,502 of the Australian with his two shot win in the Czech Republic last week, where Fowler interestingly finished second. With €250,000 on offer this week, it could be a crucial tournament with just four more remaining after this one.
Former Masters Tournament champion Ian Woosnam will be joined by another major winner as 1976 US Open Champion and former Ryder Cup winner Jerry Pate makes a rare appearance.
It will be the first time Pate has played on the Senior Tour aside from The Senior Open Championship and provides a boost to a field already teeming with quality.
Woosnam will enter the week with some fond memories of Cannes Mougins, having won there in the Cannes Open on The European Tour in 1994 and he is joined by two other former Cannes Open champions in Andres Forsbrand, who was victorious there in 1992, and 1993 winner Rodger Davis.