Two time Masters champion, Bernhard Langer won, the Senior Open at the Royal Porthcawl on Sunday - the German's 87th professional title but the first major to be staged in Wales.
After a week of warm sunshine, praise from the players and over 43,000 spectators enjoying the event, Royal Porthcawl has certainly not taken a step backwards in striving to be added to the Open roster.
Tom Watson is quoted as saying "I played my first practice round on Monday and, from the first hole on, it was just one great hole after another and one great green complex after another. I really fell in love with it immediately. It's a great golf course."
Tiger was here in 1995 – if the Open doesn’t come here, then at least we may have the chance of seeing Tiger again in 12 years time, albeit in the Senior Open !
Royal Liverpool, Hoylake will be hosting this year’s Open Championship for the first time since 2006 where Tiger Woods won his 3rd Claret Jug. This was Arguably Tiger’s best ball striking week to date, hitting his driver only once all week, combining strategic golf with imperious iron play from tee to green.
He survived the challenge from the European Major hopeful, Sergio Garcia whom he played with in the final round. After missing the cut at the US Open earlier that year, it was Tiger’s first win since the death of his father, Earl. He comes into this year’s Open Championship once again off the back of a missed cut, but this is as a result of back surgery and lack of competitive golf as opposed to a family loss.
Tiger is somewhat of a links specialist and being a previous winner at Hoylake he will feel confident of claiming his 15th Major and 4th Claret Jug regardless of what his current form suggests. Only a fool would write off an athlete like Tiger Woods, don’t count him out!
Henrik Stenson has been playing his way nicely into form over the last couple of months and remember this time last year is when he began his extraordinary run of form that lasted for 6 months where he won numerous times, claiming the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour and the Race to Dubai title on the European Tour. It would be hard to match what Stenson did last year from the Scottish Open onwards but I’m sure he would take a first Major win at the Open Championship as a consolation prize.
Both Stenson and Kaymer are one’s to watch at Hoylake, along with Garcia who has had a stellar season to date and has a good Open record. Can Sergio finally break his Major duck? I think this might actually be the week where we see El Nino (The Kid) make some history and claim his first Major.
Rory McIlroy has also had a solid season so far, if conditions are calm he will have a great chance with his towering ball flight. Luke Donald’s form has been bubbling away nicely, much like Sergio he is looking to win his first Major and Hoylake sets up well for good ball strikers and solid iron play which is what Donald’s game is based on. Another player to watch is Welsh hopeful, Jamie Donaldson; he has lots of experience on links courses and even won on the historic links of Royal Portrush where he captured his maiden European Tour title at the Irish Open back in 2012.
Don’t forget that I correctly predicted that Martin Kaymer would win the US Open last month. For this years Open Championship I’m going with Sergio, he has to win one of these things sooner or later, why not at Hoylake?! My outsider is Stenson, I think he will have a good week and might even win. Let see if I can get 2 in a row!
Looking forward to another great Open Championship and hoping that one of our European boys can claim the coveted Claret Jug!
Tom Watson, the eight-time major champion, will play in Wales for the first time at this year's Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl. The 64-year-old, who won the Open Championship five times, says he will be fulfilling a lifelong ambition to play the famous Welsh links course.
"It's actually been on my bucket list to play over there before I can't play golf any more," said Watson.
By confirming his appearance in the event, held on 24-27 July, Watson joins 2010 Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, as well as past Senior Open champions Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer in the field.
Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion, will also be there, and Watson revealed the Welshman has been singing Porthcawl's praises as the event gets ever nearer.
The Senior Open is played in Wales for the first time next month.
Household names such as Monty, Woosnam, Watson, Couples et al will all be playing.
Why not come and see the event for FREE by combining it with one of our 3 special golf break packages.
You play the first day, see how it should be done in the Senior Open the second day, and then try and apply some of their magic on the last day. The packages can be found on our home page.
Included with this update is a new interactive map that allows you to explore the different golf courses, hotels and packages available in South Wales.
You can also view all the golf courses in greater detail and see what pre-set packages are available for that golf course. If you would like to stay longer or simply build your own itinerary then you can use our step by step custom fit build you own break facility.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Greens of Southern Wales