Paul Broadhurst (Getty Images)
The world’s finest over-50s golfers return to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club for the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex. Here’s all you need to know ahead of the final Senior Major of the 2017 season…
Last year, Paul Broadhurst became the first Englishman in 30 years to win the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex as he overturned a four-shot deficit on the final day at Carnoustie.
Broadhurst looked out of the running after the first round, finishing the opening day three over par, seven shots off the lead. He carded the joint-lowest round the following day, a six under par 66, to move to three under par for a share of 15th place heading into the weekend.
A four under par third round of 68 saw him take a share of second place on seven under par, four strokes behind Miguel Angel Jiménez while American Scott McCarron made a late charge, reaching 11 under par, before bogeying the 16th and 18th holes to drop to nine under.
But it was to be Broadhurst’s time, as he carded a bogey-free four under par round of 68 courtesy of birdies on the 13th and 15th holes, to secure an historic victory, finishing two strokes clear of McCarron with an 11 under total.
The 144-man field is packed with Major Champions, Ryder Cup Captains and players, and European Tour and PGA Tour winners. There are nine former Ryder Cup Captains and 30 former players, as well as 15 Major Champions with 31 victories between them. In addition, there are 17 Senior Major Champions with a combined 39 titles.
Former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst is back to defend his title but will face stiff competition from nine-time Senior Major Champion and double Masters Tournament winner Bernhard Langer, who is looking to set a new record of 10 Senior Major victories as he returns to a happy hunting ground in Porthcawl.
They are joined by fellow former European Ryder Cup player Miguel Angel Jiménez and former captains Sir Nick Faldo, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Ian Woosnam alongside former USA Ryder Cup Captains Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Tom Watson. The American trio have ten Major Championships and nine Senior Major victories between them.
Fred Couples, another former Ryder Cup legend winner of the Masters Tournament in 1992, and John Daly, who won the 1991 US PGA Championship and The Open in 1995, are also representing the United States in south Wales.
It's an elegant links course which has everything to offer the links golfer.
Royal Porthcawl first played host to the Senior Open Championship in 2014, when Bernhard Langer carded an 18 under par total for the largest winning margin in Senior Major history, finishing an incredible 13 strokes ahead of Colin Montgomerie.
The par 71 course is 7,010 yards in length and starts with a picturesque downhill 425 yard par four towards the coast. Players head along the shores of Rest Bay, which overlooks the Bristol Channel, before turning back inland. The first par five is the sixth hole, uphill and 561 yards. The longest hole on the course is the par five 13th at 579 yards, and the 18th hole is also a par five, at 505 yards.
The course is littered with deep fairway bunkers which must be avoided and, in typical links fashion, the gorse comes into play.
Royal Porthcawl has been described by links legend Tom Watson as: “an elegant links course which has everything to offer the links golfer. The complete package.”