The Swiss Seniors Open will return to the stunning spa town of Bad Ragaz, Switzerland for another edition of the popular Staysure Tour event. As a field of golfing icons prepare for Friday’s first round, here are five things to get you ready for the week.
1) Longevity- Everyone knows that players over the age of 50 have incredible longevity, however one of the longest running events on the Staysure Tour International Schedule is the Swiss Seniors Open, which will be played for the 22nd time this year. Remarkably, the event has been contested on Golf Club Bad Ragaz every year since the inaugural playing of the tournament in 1997.
2) Multiple winners- there have been four players to have won the Swiss Seniors Open at least twice. Scotland’s David Huish went back-to-back in 2000 and 2001, and then was followed in the feat by Horacio Carbonetti of Argentina in 2003 and 2004. Consecutive titles were again claimed in 2007 and 2008 by England’s Carl Mason, who then became the first, and still only, three-time winner of the Swiss Seniors Open when he triumphed in 2010. The victory was his record 25th on the European over-50s circuit. American Tim Thelen became the fourth multiple-winner at Bad Ragaz when, after winning in 2012, he triumphed four years later in 2016.
3) Big Money- as the tradition of the Swiss Seniors Open continues to grow, so does the prize fund. This year, the 60-player field will be competing for the lion’s share of a €320,000 purse, which is the largest offering up for grabs in the 22-year tournament history.
4) Difficult finish- four of the final six holes at Golf Club Bad Ragaz had an over par scoring average at last year’s event — meaning that the final round leader will have his work cut out for him if he wants to seal the deal at the Swiss Seniors Open. In 2017, the par three 17th played as the most difficult hole on Sunday, with a round-wrecking scoring average of 3.28. Big money is on offer this year, and so the final stretch could prove to be very costly for several players who are not up to the task.
5) Defending Champion- Englishman Phillip Golding’s final nine of four under par, 31, which included a birdie on the 16th hole, was enough to propel him to the top of the leaderboard and secure his third Staysure Tour victory. Clark Dennis, who would go on to win the Staysure Tour Order of Merit later that season, was made to wait for his first victory in Europe as he fell foul of the final six holes.
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