The Senior Open ChampionshipPosted on: 21 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Greg Norman heads the list of legends looking to be crowned Senior Open Championship king.
Greg Norman will return to Royal Troon Golf Club, where he so nearly won The 1989 Open Championship against all the odds, looking for his maiden Senior Major Championship victory.
Norman will be among golfing legends such as Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam gunning for glory in the 2008 Senior Open Championship at Troon from 24th – 27th July.
The “Great White Shark” lost in a three-way playoff 19 years ago with eventual winner Mark Calcavecchia and fellow Australian Wayne Grady, after he made six consecutive birdies to shoot a course record 64 in his final round to join the pair in the sudden-death decider.
Norman, who lifted The Claret Jug in 1986 and 1993, is the only golfer in history to be number one on both sides of the Atlantic, winning The European Tour Order of Merit in 1982 and topping the US PGA Tour Money list in 1986, 1990 and 1995.
It is only the second time the 53-year-old has played in the Senior Open Championship, after he finished third behind winner Tom Watson on his debut in 2005 at another famous Scottish links course, Royal Aberdeen.
Having missed the past two years due to a long standing back injury, Norman heads to Troon after showing he can still compete at the highest level; finishing tied sixth at the US Senior PGA Championship in May and tied 14th at the BMW Asian Open on The European Tour the previous month.
The Australian’s sensational return to form includes his stunning performance at Royal Birkdale last week when Norman rolled back the years to lead the Open Championship after the first two rounds.
I’m looking forward to being among old friends again at Royal Troon
Norman admitted he was heading to Ayrshire determined to win the Senior Open Championship after narrowly missing out on the Open Championship nearly two decades ago.
“I’m sure that the memories will come flooding back when I stand on the first tee at Royal Troon, recalling The Open Championship I could have won here back in 1989.”
“When Mark Calcavecchia made his putt to win The Open I went over and sincerely congratulated him. But clearly I felt as though The Open Championship at Troon had slipped my grasp.”
“I’m looking forward to being among old friends again at Royal Troon and taking on the challenge of these famous links.”
“The Open, and the great links courses that host the Championship, have given me great pleasure over the years and when I came back to Scotland for The Senior Open Championship at Royal Aberdeen in 2005 it was a big thrill for me to be playing in a Major again on a famous links course.”
“It was Tom Watson’s second Senior Open triumph, after winning the title in 2003 at Turnberrg in a playoff. He won for a third time last year at Muirfield and he’s always the man to beat on the links.”
Norman will be part of the strongest field in the Championship’s 22-year history, with American legend Watson looking to defend his title and the Major winning European trio of Langer, Lyle and Woosnam making their debuts.
Welshman Woosnam is looking to extend his lead at the top of the Seniors Tour Order of Merit with his own maiden Senior Major Championship victory, while American Jay Haas will also be one of the favourites for the title as he seeks his second Senior Major Championship of the season, following his victory at the US Senior PGA Championship in May.
Norman, who recently married former tennis star Chris Evert, is one of 21 Major winners going head-to-head at Royal Troon for a share of the US$2million purse.
Going to the Senior Open Championship?
Tickets for The 2008 Senior Open Championship can be booked now either via the hotline on 0800 023 2557 or visiting www.europeantourtickets.com.
One day tickets cost £20 for Thursday – Sunday, or a four-day season pass costs £60. Practice day tickets for Wednesday July 23 are available for £10.
Children under 16 can gain free entry on any day if accompanied by a paying adult.
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