The European Senior Tour returns to Hanbury Manor for the Willow Senior Golf Classic. Here’s all you need to know ahead of the second edition of this magnificent tournament…
2016 Qualifying School winner Gary Marks secured his first professional victory at last year’s Willow Senior Golf Classic, beating Australia’s Mike Harwood to the title by two strokes.
Marks fired a nine under par second round of 63 to take a five shot lead into Sunday’s final round on a 14 under par total. He was pushed to the end on the final day, however, as Mike Harwood carded a third consecutive round of 68.
England’s Philip Golding mounted a late charge with a final round 64, eight under par, but left himself too much to do after rounds of 71-70.Jarmo Sandelin
Double Senior Major Champion Roger Chapman and former European Tour Number One Ronan Rafferty headline the 54-man field vying for a £360,000 prize fund at Hanbury Manor.
Rafferty is one of 11 former Ryder Cup players in the field, including 1999 captain Mark James and Sweden’s Jarmo Sandelin, who played in same Ryder Cup. Sandelin is the latest former Ryder Cup player to join the Senior Tour after turning 50 earlier this year.
In addition, there are no fewer than 11 competitors in the field who have won since last year’s season-opening KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, including former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane and the 2016 Rookie of the Year Magnus P Atlevi.
André Bossert will hope for a strong showing as he prepares to defend the Travis Perkins Masters title next week.
The original nine-hole golf course at Hanbury Manor was built by golf legend Harry Vardon. It was then upgraded to an 18-hole course and remodelled by Jack Nicklaus II.
From 1997-1999, Hanbury Manor Golf Club played host to the English Open where European Tour stars Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood were victorious.
The course is a well-balanced par 72 and the use of double fairways and threatening water throughout the course sets a true challenge for players.There is a distinct difference between the front and back nine as the front is a modern American layout with exposure to the elements and subtle undulations. The back nine has a parkland feel with tree-lined fairways.