Philip Golding will go in search of his third victory of the season at the Paris Legends Championship at Le Golf National, the same venue where he won the 2003 Open de France.
The Englishman has tasted success at the Swiss Seniors Open and Travis Perkins Masters this year, and hopes to add a third title, which would be his fifth on the European Senior Tour, to his trophy cabinet at the host venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup.
“It’s good to be back, and the course is probably in the best condition it has been in all the years I’ve come here,” said Golding. “It’s getting better and better, and the team here are making real headway towards the Ryder Cup.
“It would be a special place to win, having won the French Open here a few years ago. I really feel at home here. Every player wants to win this week. Magnus (P Atlevi) won last year with a score of minus eight, which is a really good score over three days here.”
Golding is currently sixth on the European Senior Tour Order of Merit as the race for the John Jacobs Trophy nears its climax.
“It’s a really open race at the top of the Order of Merit,” said Golding. “Over the last few years it has normally gone to guys who have won Major Championships. Chris Williams is leading, but I think we’re all thinking the same and are hoping to catch him and win the Order of Merit.”
In second place on the Order of Merit is American Clark Dennis, who secured his first over-50s title at the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort earlier this month. The 51 year old is in no doubt of the quality of the course and the challenge it will pose at next year’s Ryder Cup.
“It’s a great golf course and will be a fantastic Ryder Cup venue,” said Dennis. “It’s a real amphitheatre and 15, 16, 17 and 18 will make for an exciting finish.
“As a player though, it’s a little different in a medal-play tournament. Some holes you have to play fairly conservatively and keep the ball dry. It’s a course where you have to be on your game; you can’t fake it around here at all.”
Returning to Europe is Dennis’s compatriot John Daly. The two-time Major Champion finished tied for tenth at Made in Denmark on the European Tour last month and is looking forward to teeing it up in France this week.
“It’s been a good year,” said Daly. “I won in Houston, almost won in New York and played in Denmark the way I did. I got the bad draw the next week in Prague because I was playing really well.
“The fairways and tee boxes can’t be in better shape. We all love this golf course. It was unbelievable playing here during the French Open when I came over for that.”
In the field this week are 11 former Ryder Cup players, including 1999 captain Mark James and last year’s Senior Open Presented by Rolex winner Paul Broadhurst.
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