European Tour Champions Peter Fowler and Barry Lane have helped to mark the start of the 2012 European Senior Tour season by cutting the ribbon in an opening ceremony at Pula Golf Club, host venue for this week’s Mallorca Open Senior.
Australian Fowler, who topped last season’s Order of Merit following the season-ending MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius last December, and England’s Lane, who pushed his antipodean colleague all the way in what was an enthralling battle for the John Jacobs Trophy in 2011, were the centre of attention at a ceremony that also featured a host of European Tour greats and former Ryder Cup stars including Gordon Brand Jr, Antonio Garrido, Mark James, Carl Mason, Manuel Piñero, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam amongst others.
Fowler will be looking to become the first player since Sam Torrance in 2006 to retain the John Jacobs Trophy, and a victory in the €200,000 event on the Spanish island of Mallorca would certainly represent a flying start for whoever triumphs over the course of the three-day tournament.
Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us this morning with many Major Champions, Ryder Cup Captains, Order of Merit winners and great champions of Spain. I think it is fantastic we are able to launch the 2012 European Senior Tour, our 21st season, here at Pula Golf Club.
“We are looking forward to a great event this week and many more throughout the year to December in Mauritius where we will finish the Tour. We had a great Order of Merit race last year with these two great players to my right and left, Peter Fowler and Barry Lane, a great contest for that as well as the many other winners on the Tour. We look forward to another great year.”
Designed by 2012 European Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal, who will be eligible to join the Senior Tour in 2016, Pula Golf Club in Son Servera has previously hosted seven European Tour events, most recently last year’s Iberdrola Open won by Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke two months before he lifted the Claret Jug in The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George’s.