Torrance facing a strong field at Stoke

SAM Torrance will not have matters all his own way as he bids to defend his PGA Seniors Championship over the Gainsborough course at Stoke by Nayland between tomorrow and Bank Holiday Monday.

SAM Torrance will not have matters all his own way as he bids to defend his PGA Seniors Championship over the Gainsborough course at Stoke by Nayland between tomorrow and Bank Holiday Monday.

There is an array of big names lined up against the Scotsman, with Irishman Eamonn Darcy, runner-up in the Scandinavian Senior Open in Denmark last week, hitting form at the right time.

Darcy and Spaniard Jose Rivero, who came third in Denmark, both have experience of winning the Ryder Cup.

Argentina is represented by Luis Carbonetti, who joined the Seniors Tour in 2004 and quickly made his mark, beating Australian Terry Gale (also appearing at Stoke by Nayland) in a play-off for the Digicel Jamaica Classic.

Zimbabwean Tony Johnstone is a Seniors newcomer lying 18th in the Order of Merit, while American Jerry Bruner is 21st. Nicknamed “Mouse” because of his size (5ft 6ins) and the prodigious distances he hits the ball, Bruner is one of the most popular figures on the tour.

Manuel Pinero is another Spaniard with Ryder Cup experience, and Gordon J Brand (Ryder Cup and World Cup in 1983) is one of a host of big names who should attract a large gallery to Constable country. Craig Defoy, Bill Longmuir, Nick Job, Carl Mason, Eddie Polland, Jeff Hawkes, John Bland, Ian Mosey, Delroy Cambridge and Maurice Bembridge are all sure to have their followers. It is a tremendous field.

Most Read

Katsuyoshi Tomori, who won the Scandinavian title, has withdrawn from the Stoke by Nayland event, but Japan will be represented by Seiji Ebihara, who won the PGA Seniors title in 2002.

There will be local interest in Robin Mann of Felixstowe Golf Range, whose conditional card had earned him entry into this prestigious event. Mann, who knows the course well, has every chance of making an impact.

All those expecting to play in a qualifying event on Tuesday have been included in the main draw. These include Frank Hill of Thorpeness, who has plenty of experience at this level, Mark Jillings of Bury St Edmunds and Chris Aldred of Flempton.

The pro-am takes place today which provides the leading stars of the tour with a practice round.

Tomorrow's tee-off times include:

7.00: Chris Aldred, 7.40 Mark Jillings. 8.30 Robin Mann. 8.40 Nick Job. 8.50 Manuel Pinero. 9.10 Seiji Ebihara, Eamonn Darcy and David J Russell. 9.40 Jeff Hawkes, Frank Hill and Doug Johnson. 12.00 John Hudson, Tony Charnley and Gordon Clarke. 12.40 Luis Carbonetti, Mike Gallagher and Martin Poxon. 1.10 Bill Longmuir, Carl Mason and Sam Torrance. 1.20 Phil Hinton, Ian Mosey and Tony Johnstone. The final group tee off at 2.50.

There will be a cut at the end of the second round with the top 60 and ties going through to Sunday and Monday.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter