Two-time Senior Major Champion Roger Chapman and former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane are two of a number of Englishmen bidding for success on home soil at the second edition of the Willow Senior Golf Classic.
The European Senior Tour returns to Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, former venue of the English Open on the European Tour, as the 54-man field prepares to play for a £360,000 prize fund.
Lane last tasted victory at the season-ending 2016 MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius and hopes to add to his trophy cabinet at this week’s event.
The 57 year old finished tied third at the Scottish Senior Open earlier this month, and he is confident of bettering that season-best result this week.
“I think I’m playing really well at the moment,” said Lane, who competed in the 1993 Ryder Cup. “We’ve played eight events so far this year and we’ve got a really good run coming up.
“If you play really well over the next few weeks you can really move up the Order of Merit, but you just have to take things round by round.
“I played nicely in Scotland but didn’t putt very well. I didn’t feel like I was in it until my final round when I shot a 67; I had a great finish when I went five under on the back nine.”
Chapman, who finished tied 16th in Scotland, believes he is on the right track as he bids to add to his 2012 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open victories.
“I’m feeling good at the moment,” said Chapman. “It’s nice to be back and playing full-time in Europe. I’m looking forward to this run over the next few months.
“I played okay in Scotland but didn’t hole many putts. I shot 68 during my final round but had 33 putts. I hope everything slots into place soon.
“Hanbury Manor is a great venue. We had the English Open here a few times and, of course, we played this event last year.
“It’s great that this event is in partnership with the Willow Foundation. They do wonderful work and help give young adults with serious illnesses memorable experiences with their families.”
“It’s great to do this for charity and anything we can do to help is fantastic,” added Lane. “As well as helping to raise money for the Willow Foundation it also gives us the chance to play a tournament at a superb venue like this.”
Also teeing it up this week is former European Tour Number One Ronan Rafferty, who will be looking to add a first victory on the over-50s circuit to his seven European Tour titles.
Joining Rafferty in this week’s field are a further ten former Ryder Cup players, including 1999 captain Mark James, and 11 players who have won on the European Senior Tour in the last 18 months.