News & Blog

Forsbrand makes Fairmont Return

andersAnders Forsbrand will have plenty of inspiration to draw upon this week when he returns to the Home of Golf to defend his SSE Scottish Senior Open title.

The 52 year old, six time winner on The European Tour, created history last year when he became the first Swede to win on the European Senior Tour, holding off a stunning weekend charge from Philip Golding to complete a wire-to-wire victory by one stroke at Fairmont St Andrews.

Golding fired back-to-back weekend rounds of 64 to keep the pressure firmly on Forsbrand, who resisted with a final round of 67 for a 17 under par winning total.

Forsbrand went on to finish tied third in the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open a week later, recording five top ten finishes in 2012 as he ended the year in eighth position on the Order of Merit.

However, it has been a slower start to the current campaign, with a share of 18th position in the previous Senior Tour event, the Berenberg Masters, his best performance to date.

Forsbrand will hope that returning to the Torrance Course can once again spark an upturn in his fortunes, as the long-running event marks its 21st edition and fifth consecutive at Fairmont St Andrews.

Golding will also be hoping to draw on his memories of last year and build upon his strong start to the 2013 season.

The Englishman followed his pair of 64s in Scotland with another in the first round of the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open, to create a piece of history himself, becoming the first player to achieve that hat-trick on The European Tour, Senior Tour or Challenge Tour.

Golding returned to Wales in June to capture his own maiden Senior Tour title, carding a superb closing 66 in tough conditions at Royal Porthcawl. He also finished tied tenth in the Berenberg Masters and heads to Scotland in sixth place on the Order of Merit and with his sights on more silverware.

Similarly, former World Number One Ian Woosnam, who finished tied third in Wales after leading going into the final round, will be optimistic he can mount a challenge this week.

The Welshman was tied eighth in Germany a fortnight ago, recording his third top ten finish in six events this season, and he finished tied fourth at Fairmont St Andrews last year.

Another player with a strong record in the SSE Scottish Senior Open is Barry Lane, who won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. The Englishman, fresh from a tied fifth finish in the Berenberg Masters, was tied eighth in his defence of the title last year, having opened with a round of 74.

After Phil Mickelson’s back-to-back victories in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and The Open Championship in July, this week’s SSE Scottish Senior Open begins another double-header on Scottish soil, with the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to follow next week on The European Tour.

It is seven years since a Scot won the SSE Scottish Senior Open, with former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance the last home player to lift the trophy in 2006.

Torrance, who helped redesign the course at Fairmont St Andrews, is part of a strong home challenge again this week, and is joined in the field by compatriots Gordon Brand Jnr, John Chillas, Ross Drummond, David James, Bill Longmuir, Stephen McAllister, Andrew Oldcorn and Peter A Smith.