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Wednesday, 02 August 2017
Roger Chapman  (Getty Images)
Roger Chapman (Getty Images)

Double Senior Major winner Roger Chapman has confirmed he will tee it up at this year’s Willow Senior Golf Classic as he bids to add to his trophy cabinet.

Chapman became the first European in history to win both the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open in the same season after triumphing in 2012, en route to finishing the year as number one on the European Senior Tour Order of Merit.

The Englishman is one of the stars of the 54-man field, which also includes no fewer than 10 Ryder Cup players. Mark James, captain of Europe’s 1999 Ryder Cup side, and Ronan Rafferty, European Tour Number One in 1989, will be joined by Gordon Brand Jnr, David Gilford, Barry Lane, Jose Rivero Costantino Rocca, Jarmo Sandelin, Des Smyth and Philip Walton as former Ryder Cup stars from August 25-27.

“Playing in a tournament on home soil is always special, but even more so when we are helping such a deserving charity as the Willow Foundation,” said Chapman.

“Last year’s event at Hanbury Manor was superb, and it must have been a great experience for the amateurs who had the opportunity to play alongside us professionals on each of the tournament days.

“I was pleased to finish inside the top 20 at least year’s event, but to win a championship here in England would be fantastic and I certainly have this year’s trophy in my sights. 

Gary Marks, who won the first edition of the tournament which benefits the Willow Foundation by two strokes from Australia’s Mark Harwood, will return to Hertfordshire to defend his title.

Marks, playing out of Roehampton Golf Club, is joined by compatriots Philip Golding, who won the Swiss Seniors Open in July, former Walker Cup player and three-time Senior Tour winner Gary Wolstenholme, former Senior Tour Number One Paul Wesselingh and record winner Carl Mason in the field.

The Willow Senior Golf Classic raises funds for the Willow Foundation, a national charity which offers ‘Special Days’ for seriously ill young adults between the ages of 16 and 40. Since 1999, Willow has fulfilled more than 13,500 Special Days for young adults living with life-threatening conditions.

The charity was founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson and his wife Megs in 1999 as a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Anne battled cancer for five years but, during these years, she, her family and friends, experienced some of their most memorable moments together. Her self-named ‘Special Days’ became a focus for quality of time and quality of life, providing a distraction from the challenging realities of living with a serious and life-threatening illness.

Helping to raise funds for the Willow Foundation, there is the opportunity for keen amateurs to tee it up alongside the Senior Tour members during the three-day championship, partnering a professional during all three tournament rounds in the popular Alliance format.

Amateurs play in a 54-hole stableford competition, and the professionals will be competing for a £360,000 prize fund, on of the largest on the 2017 European Senior Tour schedule.

In addition to the Alliance format, there are two Pro-Am days preceding the championship on August 23 and 24.

Entry to the Willow Senior Golf Classic is free and golf lessons will be available for all juniors between 9am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday August 26-27.

For more information on taking part in this year’s Alliance tournament and Pro-Am, call 01707 259777 or email sarahjane.thompson@willowfoundation.org.uk. To pre-book lessons, contact shannon@golf-foundation.org or call 01992 449830.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LANE, BarryENG18-22
2ORR, GarySCO18-17
3WESSELINGH, PaulENG18-15
4CHAPMAN, RogerENG18-13
T5WILLIAMS, ChrisRSA18-11
T5FOWLER, PeterAUS18-11

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