The 2014 European Senior Tour season begins this week with the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid which returns to the scene of one of the most memorable performances by a European player over the age of 50.
Two years ago Englishman Roger Chapman upset the odds to claim his maiden Senior Tour title with a stunning two stroke victory at Harbor Shores in Michigan, before going on to also win the US Senior Open and the Senior Tour Order of Merit that year.
Chapman will try to repeat that feat when he returns to the venue this week as part of a record European Senior Tour challenge.
In total, there are 35 Senior Tour members in the field – the most in the history of the event, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Joining Chapman is Germany’s Bernhard Langer, who has once again been in impressive form on the US Champions Tour this year.
The 2004 European Ryder Cup Captain will be keen to add to his collection of Senior Majors after losing in a play-off to Mark Wiebe in last year’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Birkdale.
Langer finished tied eighth at this year’s Masters Tournament and has not finished outside the top ten in eight appearances on the US Champions Tour in 2014, winning twice.
The two-time Masters Champion will start as one of the favourites for the title and he is joined in the field by fellow former European Ryder Cup Captains Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam, as well as the current US Captain, Tom Watson.
For Englishman Paul Wesselingh, the tournament marks the start of his defence of the John Jacobs Trophy he won for topping the 2013 Senior Tour Order of Merit.
Wesselingh will be hoping to carry on the form that took him to four titles last year and is seeking an improvement in the Majors another target for 2014.
The tournament also marks the Senior Tour debut for Northern Ireland’s Ronan Rafferty, the European Number One in 1989, who returns to competitive action after a gap of more than a decade.
In addition to Watson, the American challenge includes Fred Couples, Tom Lehman and Kenny Perry, while the defending champion is Japan’s Kouki Idoki who fired a closing 65 at Bellerive Country Club 12 months ago to take the title by two strokes from Perry and Jay Haas.