The Fubon Senior Open will stage the penultimate chapter of what is becoming an epic battle for the European Senior Tour Order of Merit and the coveted John Jacobs Trophy.
Three of the current top four protagonists in the race to finish the year as Senior Tour Number One –leader Steen Tinning, second-placed Paul Wesselingh and fourth-ranked Simon P Brown – are all at the Miramar Golf Club in Taipei, Taiwan, looking to land a decisive blow in the fight to take top spot.
With a first prize of €60,000 on offer to the winner this week, Tinning could seal the John Jacobs Trophy by notching his third victory of what has been a quite amazing rookie year on the Senior Tour.
Tinning is currently €9,932 ahead of Wesselingh and €45,386 clear of Brown at the top of the Order of Merit, and with same first prize of €60,000 on offer at the season-ending MCB Tour championship in Mauritius as there is in Taiwan this week, Tinning will be looking to put the perfect seal on a dream year that has seen him triumph at the Berenberg Masters and English Senior Open.
The English duo of Wesselingh and Brown will be looking to put a stop to Tinning’s charge for the 2013 Senior Tour Number One crown.
Having won two out of the first four events at the start of the season at the PGA Seniors Championship and the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open, Wesselingh looked like he was going to run away with the title, but a mid-season dip in form allowed Tinning to overtake the 52 year old while the likes of third-placed Peter Fowler and Brown closed the gap significantly.
Since September, though, Wesselingh has recaptured his form, finishing outside the top ten only once in his past six appearances including a runner-up finish to Colin Montgomerie at the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters at Woburn.
During that same period, Brown has been the form man of the Senior Tour, capturing the Russian Senior Open and the Dutch Senior Open in the space of four weeks to catapult him into fourth place in the Order of Merit.
This week’s edition of the Fubon Senior Open is the Tour’s third year of a strong co-sanctioning agreement with the Senior PGA of Taiwan.
Taiwan’s own Chien Soon Lu secured a dream home victory in the event in 2011 before Tim Thelen of the USA matched Lu’s formidable five-shot victory margin last year en route to his third Senior Tour victory of 2012.
How Tinning, Wesselingh and Brown would all love to match that hat-trick over the coming days.