Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 European Senior Tour Order of Merit winner, will begin his defence of the John Jacobs Trophy at the inaugural Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club.
The 51 year old is hopeful of a strong start to the season as he bids to retain the John Jacobs Trophy, with the first round starting in the United Arab Emirates tomorrow.
But the Englishman, one of ten former Ryder Cup players in the 57-man field, is wary of the stiff competition he faces not just at the first tournament of the season in the Emirate of Sharjah, but throughout the year.
“I’m really looking forward to this week,” said Broadhurst, who represented Europe in The Ryder Cup in 1991. “I played a little bit earlier in the year, but I’ve had three weeks off. It’s nice to get back in the sun and back in the UAE.
“I played the first Desert Classic in Dubai in 1989, so I’ve been coming to this country for a long time. I’ve seen some changes over the years, and it looks a different place these days.
“I was involved in the Pro-Am last year to announce the event, so I was always going to come back to Sharjah to play in the tournament.
“This week will be a bit of a putting contest, we really need to master these greens to get some low scores.”
After finishing as Rookie of the Year in 2015, Broadhurst added to his trophy cabinet with the John Jacobs Trophy and the Senior Claret Jug after winning the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Carnoustie last season.
“I want to put up a good defence of the Senior Open, so that’s one of my priorities this season,” he said. “I want to finish as high as I can on the Order of Merit, but I know I’m going to have to do well here and at the Majors to have a chance of winning it.
“There are a lot of good players here, and you’ll need to shoot a low score to win. There are a few new additions, and it’s the younger guys you have to watch out for.
“I want to play well and compete, but I’m not one of those guys who can guarantee it week-in, week-out.
“I’m not a Langer or a Monty, I’m a Broady. That’s been working quite well these last 18 months, so long may that continue.”
Broadhurst will tee it up in the first round with 2016 Rookie of the Year Magnus P Atlevi and former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane, who won the Senior Tour’s last event, the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius.
Brendan McGovern, winner of 2017 Senior Tour Qualifying School will strike the first shot of the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters when he tees off alongside fellow graduates Clark Dennis and Peter Wilson.
Roger Chapman, who triumphed at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open in 2012, is grouped with 2011 John Jacobs Trophy winner Peter Fowler and Sweden’s Adam Mednick, who joined the Senior Tour last season.
Two-time European Tour champion James Kingston and two-time Senior Tour winner Gordon Manson join Ronan Rafferty, who finished as European Tour Number One and played in The Ryder Cup in 1989, in the first round.
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