Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales plays host to this week’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex. Mark Wiebe of the USA will defend the title against a field featuring many legends of the game.

Lowdown:
Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales plays host to this week’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex. Mark Wiebe of the USA will defend the title against a field featuring many legends of the game.

This will be the 28th running of The Senior Open Championship and Royal Porthcawl will be the 12th course to welcome the great event.

The inaugural winner, back in 1987 at Turnberry, was England’s Neil Coles. Gary Player was a three-time winner from 1988 to 1997 and Tom Watson won three times in five years from 2003 to 2007. Now 64-years-old, Watson will, once again, start this week as one of the favourites, following his strong showing at Hoylake last week.

In last season’s Senior Open at Royal Birkdale, Mark Wiebe of the USA came through a thrilling playoff against Germany’s Bernhard Langer. The American eventually triumphed at the fifth extra hole.

Already twice a Senior Major winner in 2014, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie will be looking to secure a hat-trick at Royal Porthcawl. A number or the world’s best over-50 players will be aiming to stop him from doing that. Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Corey Pavin and Mark Calcavecchia are all on the start sheet.

Royal Porthcawl hosted the Coral Welsh Classic on The European Tour three times between 1980-1982, and the Wales Senior Open in 2009, 2010 and 2013, as well as the 1995 Walker Cup, featuring Tiger Woods, when Great Britain and Ireland beat the USA by 14-10.

It’s a testing links layout where the wind is likely to be a factor. With punishing bunkers, treacherous run-offs and encroaching gorse, the course demands a strategic and patient approach.

Venue: Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Bridgend, Wales
Date: Jul 24-27
Course stats: par 71, 7,021 yards
Purse: £1,250,000
Defending Champion: Mark Wiebe (-9)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 11.30am
Friday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 11.30am
Saturday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 2pm
Sunday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 2pm

Player Watch:
Tom Watson – The evergreen American will come into this event brimming with confidence after his excellent showing at Royal Liverpool. He beat Tiger Woods there; can he beat the world’s best senior golfers this week?

Colin Montgomerie – The Scot has won the US Senior PGA and the US Senior Open already this season. He’s looking to make it three Majors in a row.

Bernhard Langer – Last year’s runner-up will be looking to go one better this time. He’s won three times on the 2014 Champions Tour.

Miguel Angel Jimenez – The Spaniard has played one Champions Tour event since he turned 50, and he won it! He’ll be looking to keep his 100% record this week.

Key hole: 15th. A fabulous par-4 that can be stretched to 466 yards. If played into the prevailing wind, this is an extremely tough hole. The tee shot must find a small portion of fairway with bunkers right and, further up in the centre some 300 yards out. The second is then to a raised green with run-offs to the right and through the back. Four will be a very good score here on Sunday afternoon.