With so much at stake in the penultimate event of the 2017 European Senior Tour season, here are five golfers to watch at this week’s Farmfoods European Senior Masters. With a €50,000 first prize, there is all to play for in the race for the John Jacobs Trophy…
After so many near-misses in 2017, Clark Dennis finally secured a European Senior Tour title over 54 holes. The American, in his rookie year on Tour, had already won the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort in September after the final round was abandoned due to weather, reducing the tournament to two rounds.
The 51 year old still had a 54-hole title in his sights and he duly delivered just two events later as he won the Dutch Masters earlier this month.
Dennis arrives at Forest of Arden knowing that a win will secure the John Jacobs Trophy for topping the Order of Merit. With the Rookie of the Year title also within his grasp, Dennis will want to end his year in style.
Top of the Order of Merit for most of the season, Chris Williams has enjoyed his best year since 2010. The South African started 2017 with victory at the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq and sits just €12,000 behind Dennis on the Order of Merit with two events to play.
He has finished inside the top five six times this season, including tied third results at the Scottish Senior Open and Senior Italian Open. Should he emerge victorious this week, he will ensure that the race for the John Jacobs Trophy will go down to the wire in Mauritius at the MCB Tour Championship.
One of the most consistent players on the Senior Tour, former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane is returning to the site of his biggest European Tour victory. Lane won the British Masters by three strokes at Forest of Arden in 2004, and will go in search of his third victory in 12 months.
He won last year’s MCB Tour Championship and then made history on home soil earlier this year after carding the lowest ever Senior Tour round, a 12 under par 60, en route to his Willow Senior Golf Classic success.
After finishing inside the top five on the Order of Merit in five of the previous six seasons, Lane would mount a serious challenge for the John Jacobs Trophy with victory this week.
Golding is one of three players to have won twice on the Senior Tour in 2017 after his victories at the Swiss Seniors Open and Travis Perkins Masters.
His last victory came on home soil at Woburn, as he won the Travis Perkins Masters by one stroke, and with the Senior Tour returning to England this week, Golding will be bidding for a hat-trick of titles.
Currently third on the Order of Merit, Golding is on course to improve on his previous best finish of fourth in 2014. If he is to fulfil his ambition of winning the John Jacobs Trophy, he’ll need to leave the Forest of Arden with the coveted trophy in hand.
The victorious 2014 Ryder Cup captain has made a strong start to life on the European Senior Tour after making his debut at the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in July.
The Irishman, a four-time winner on the European Tour, has finished tied tenth and tied seventh in his first two regular events.In testing conditions at the Dutch Masters, McGinley carded a three under par final round of 68 to move up to a share of seventh. After excelling in the wind and rain in Holland, and with those conditions expected in the Midlands, McGinley may well be challenging come Sunday afternoon.