Steeped in history
This will be the 26th edition of the Scottish Senior Open, the longest-running event on the Staysure Tour’s International Schedule.
Royal Aberdeen hosted the first staging of the tournament in 1993, won by the late Tommy Horton – his second victory on the over-50s circuit – the same year he won the first of five John Jacobs Trophies. Horton would then win his second Scottish Seniors Open title in 1997.
There have been 22 champions over the years, with Horton, double Senior Major winner Paul Broadhurst and 1993 Ryder Cup player Barry Lane winning the event twice.
Ryder Cup pedigree
Speaking of Ryder Cup players, there are no fewer than a dozen in the field this week. Joining Lane are his 1993 teammates Peter Baker, Costantino Rocca and 1991 Masters Tournament winner Ian Woosnam.
Also in the field are Gordon Brand Jnr, Eamonn Darcy, David Gilford, 1989 European Tour Number One Ronan Rafferty, Phillip Price, Jarmo Sandelin, Des Smyth and Philip Walton.
The dozen have 24 Ryder Cup appearances between them with Woosnam captaining the side in 2006 and Des Smyth acting as Vice Captain to Paul McGinley in 2014.
Since Mark Davis’s victory in 2014, the trophy has remained in English hands. Paul Broadhurst’s victory in 2015, in what was his first start on the Staysure Tour, was followed by Paul Eales’ win in 2016 before Broadhurst won his second Scottish Senior Open last year.
Remarkably, it was Broadhurst’s third victory in four starts on Scottish soil – also winning The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Carnoustie in 2016.
Including the four aforementioned victories, the title has been won 12 times by an Englishman, a 48 per cent success rate over the last 25 editions.
There’s plenty of local interest in this week’s event with five Scotsmen set to tee it up at Craigielaw, including Brand Jnr. A member of the victorious Ryder Cup side in 1987, the first European team to win on American soil, and the team which retained the trophy two years later in 1989, Brand Jnr will tee it up in his tenth Scottish Senior Open.
The leading Scot on the Order of Merit, Gary Orr will look to build on his recent impressive form, which includes an outright fourth and runner-up finish in his last two events.
Also teeing it up are Ross Drummond, Stephen McAllister and Andrew Oldcorn.
A new venue
Craigielaw will become the ninth host venue of the Scottish Senior Open this week, but the East Lothian course is no stranger to tournament golf.
Designed by Donald Steel & Co., the course opened in 2001 and hosted the Scottish Amateur Strokeplay Championship five years later. It was also used as a qualifying site for The 2007 Senior Open, which took place just along the East Lothian coast at Muirfield.