André Bossert is hoping life begins at 50 as he prepares to open a new chapter in his career on the European Senior Tour.
The Swiss, whose sole European Tour victory came in the 1995 Air France Cannes Open, will make his debut in the over-50s ranks at next week’s Fubon Senior Open – just one day after reaching his half century.
Almost 20 years on from his triumph in Cannes, where he beat Jean van de Velde into second place, Bossert again showed his liking for the south of France by winning the Open Senior de la Côte d’Azur on the Senior Golf Circuit at the weekend.
That victory, by three shots from his fellow European Tour champion Jean-François Remesy, came hard on the heels of his win at the 2013 Swiss PGA Championship in Geneva – proof that Bossert’s game is in fine fettle ahead of his Senior Tour bow.
He said: “I’m sure I will be excited when I step onto the first tee, because I’m really up for it and have been looking forward to this moment for a while. I just love competing, so I’m glad to be playing at the top level of Senior golf and I feel I can be competitive – that’s the part that excites me most.”
The two-time Challenge Tour champion has been inspired by the recent exploits of his peers, with the likes of Phil Golding and Santiago Luna taking to the Senior scene like a proverbial duck to water.
And he is excited at the prospect of renewing acquaintances with some familiar faces when he tees up in Taiwan next week.
Bossert, who represented Switzerland seven times in the World Cup, said: “I look at some of the guys I have played against on the Challenge Tour over the past five years, and they have really hit the ground running on the Senior circuit. So whilst it’s difficult to predict because I’ve obviously never played on the Senior Tour before, I think – and I certainly hope – I should be able to compete with them.
“I also look at someone like Steen Tinning, who has enjoyed great success this season. I played with him at the ECCO Tour Championship on the Challenge Tour a few years ago, and he struck the ball beautifully but, like me, he was at a big disadvantage from the tee compared to some of the younger guys.
“Most of the guys on the Challenge Tour are in their 20s, so they’re in the prime of their careers and are all capable of hitting it miles. I average around 280 yards off the tee, whereas almost all of these guys are over the 300-yard mark, and that makes a big difference. But on the Senior Tour, while I still won’t be the longest hitter, at least I won’t be at the bottom any more!”
Whilst his relative lack of length off the tee has perhaps prevented him from enjoying even greater success in the past, Bossert has more than compensated for this shortfall with a razor sharp short game and a strong strategic mind.
A ‘plotter’ rather than a ‘bomber’, Bossert prides himself on his ability to think and manoeuvre his way round a golf course, in contrast to the modern trend of trying to overpower it.
He said: “I would say my main strength is my strategy. I like courses where I have to play different shots and think of different options – that’s my favourite way to play the game.
“My short game is also very good but my putting is probably my biggest weakness. When I putt well I tend to score well, because I usually hit a high number of greens in regulation. So if I can just hole a few more putts, I’d be fairly confident of holding my own on the Senior Tour.
“My main goal for next season is first to keep my card and to finish in the top 30 of the Order of Merit, so I can gain entry into the final event in Mauritius. But I also have higher ambitions, such as winning the Rookie of the Year – that’s definitely something to strive for.”