Tuesday, 08 May 2018
Barry Lane, winner of the 2017 Willow Senior Golf Classic  (Getty Images)
Barry Lane, winner of the 2017 Willow Senior Golf Classic (Getty Images)
Defending Willow Senior Golf Classic champion Barry Lane says he can’t wait to return to Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club for the third edition of the Staysure Tour tournament from August 24-26, 2018.

Lane, who represented Europe at The 1993 Ryder Cup, set a new record on the Staysure Tour, formerly known as the European Senior Tour, after carding the lowest ever round of 60, 12 under par, during the second round of last year’s event.

He then went on to set a new 54-hole record of 22 under par as he won a cheque for more than £50,000, finishing five strokes clear of Scotland’s Gary Orr.

With an increased prize fund of £370,000 on offer at this year’s tournament, Lane will draw on happy memories as he bids for back-to-back Willow Senior Golf Classic titles.

“It was a great week,” said Lane. “At 57 years old, you never go out there thinking you’ll shoot 60 or maybe even break 60. I’ve had a couple of 62s in my career, but to shoot 60 was fantastic.

“Most weeks you’ll see a winning total of 12 or 15 under par or so. These golf courses aren’t 6,200 yards, and Hanbury Manor was playing at more than 7,000 yards that week. It’s a proper, proper golf course.

“The standard on this Tour is extremely good. We even saw the low 54-hole record broken later in the season by Thaworn Wiratchant when he finished on 23 under. It’s phenomenal how some of these guys play and how good the scoring is.”

The Willow Senior Golf Classic was first played in 2016 and raises vital funds for the Willow Foundation. Established in 1999, the Foundation offers ‘Special Days’ for seriously ill young adults between the ages of 16 and 40, fulfilling more than 15,000 in those 19 years.

The charity was founded by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson and his wife Megs as a lasting memorial to their daughter Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Anna created the idea of ‘Special Days’ which became a focus for quality of time and quality of life for her family and friends.

“Bob and Megs, along with Duncan Sinclair (tournament patron) are doing a fantastic job for the cause,” said Lane. “An awful lot of money is raised for Willow during that week. Bob is such a gentleman, and he and his wife do a wonderful job for the Foundation.”

Entry to the Willow Senior Golf Classic is free of charge, with a £5 car parking fee. All proceeds will be donated to the Willow Foundation.

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