Emerson turned 50 last Thursday and will be catapulted straight into the Senior Tour arena at Rockliffe Hall in County Durham following a long and fruitful career on The European Tour, during which he made 336 appearances and won once, at the 2004 Russian Open.
Although he is a little apprehensive about how he will fare – his last competitive appearance on The European Tour was in 2009 – he is relishing the opportunity to be back among old friends, and one man in particular – Mason – is proving an inspiration.
“It would be virtually impossible to achieve what he has achieved, but that is definitely something you have to aim for,” Emerson said of Mason’s 25 victories on the Senior Tour.
“I don’t think I could ever do what Carl has done, but I’m really looking forward to beginning my Senior Tour career this week. I have been waiting for a couple years for this and I have played as much golf as I could in preparation for it.
“It has always been something I wanted to do, and now the day has nearly arrived so I cannot wait.”
Although others such as Phil Golding, Paul Wesselingh and Steen Tinning have made almost instant impacts since joining the over-50s circuit, Emerson is trying to keep a lid on expectations.
“I am under no illusions as to how tough it is out there,” he said. “It will take time for me to bed in, to remember the things I used to do. You cannot just turn it on and off, but I am definitely looking forward to having those nerves back again.
“I have a lot of friends on the Senior Tour and from what I hear things are certainly a bit different to The European Tour. There is a good level of camaraderie and fun, but once you get out on the course it’s exactly the same. Everyone is out to play their best and get their hands on the title.”
He added: “I've never been much of a gym junkie and I won’t be running any marathons like Steen any time soon! But I have always tried to stay flexible and healthy and hopefully I can stay injury-free.
“I have a few people coming up to Rockliffe this week to watch me so to have my first tournament in England is a great bonus, especially coming so close after my birthday last week.
“You don’t want to be stewing on it too long and I think it could work in my favour that it’s all happening so quickly. If I do get in the mix during the week, hopefully I can remember all the things I learned on The European Tour. It will be a great experience either way.”
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