Ryder Cup stars Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie set for PGA Seniors Championship at Stoke by Nayland
- Credit: Archant
Europe’s leading senior golfers are set to dazzle in East Anglia this year with the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship returning to Stoke by Nayland for a third time.
Defending champion Paul Wesselingh and a clutch of ex-Ryder Cup stars will take centre stage at the resort which previously staged the prestigious tournament in 2006 and 2007 when it was won by Sam Torrance and Carl Mason respectively.
The 72-hole showpiece, the oldest on the European Senior Tour schedule dating back to 1957, will take place over Stoke by Nayland’s Gainsborough course from Thursday, June 5 to Sunday, June 8.
Reigning Senior Tour order of merit winner Wesselingh will be the man to beat as he bids to emulate legends Christy O’Connor and Neil Coles by lifting the title for a third successive year following his triumphs at Slaley Hall and Mottram Hall.
Former Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam, who finished third behind Wesselingh last year, has been a regular competitor in the event while another Ryder Cup captain, Colin Montgomerie, is eligible to play for the first time having turned 50 just two weeks after last year’s tournament.
An ISPS spokesman commented: “On behalf of everyone at ISPS we are thrilled to announce our support of the 2014 ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship.
“Having supported golf for over 25 years, we feel passionately about the history and heritage of the sport. ISPS is honoured to be involved with one of Europe’s most established and important tournaments and look forward to Paul Wesselingh going for a hat-trick of titles at a fantastic new venue.”
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As part of their sponsorship of the tournament, ISPS has also backed an academy programme to train PGA pros in coaching blind and disabled golfers.
Free lessons for disabled golfers by PGA coaches will again be a feature of the tented village at the Suffolk venue during tournament week.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones added: “Having previously staged two championships at Stoke By Nayland Golf Club, we know we can be sure of a warm welcome and also an excellent test of golf for the best players.
“Last time it was contested, the competitors were full of praise for the course, particularly the greens, so we look forward to another exciting event.
“With an array of past Ryder Cup players in the field and the elite of European seniors golf, we look forward to another successful tournament and hope golf fans come and support the event.”
Stoke by Nayland has a long history of hosting top-flight golf having staged the Weston Homes PGA International Seniors and is a regular stop on the PGA Europro Tour.
Susanna Rendall, managing director of Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf Club and Spa added: “We are thrilled to host this prestigious event once again and are particularly pleased to welcome Europe’s best senior golfers back to our hotel and golf course.
“We feel we have both the experience and enhanced facilities to do justice to such a major European tournament and I am certain that players and spectators alike will have a wonderful few days in this beautiful part of the country.”