The top senior golfers will be heading to Royal Birkdale this week for the 2013 Senior Open. Less than a week since The Open Championship has finished, Fred Couples will be at Royal Birkdale as defending champion.

Although nine Open Championships have been held here previously, this week’s Senior Open will be the first time it has been held at the club. Since the first Senior Open Championship in 1987, Royal Birkdale becomes the 11th venue to hold the tournament.

Tom Watson and Mark O’Meara will be hoping to emulate previous Open success at Royal Birkdale. Tom Watson won The Open there in 1983, which was the only Open victory for him outside Scotland and Mark O’Meara found success there in at the 1998 Open Championship.

One player who will be making his debut at the Senior Open this year will be Colin Montgomerie, who turned 50 last month. Although a Major proved elusive to him on the regular tour, the Scot will be hoping to make this his first Senior Major of his career.

Montgomerie will be hoping his debut will replicate Fred Couples of last year after sinking a 25ft birdie putt on the last hole at Turnberry to win The Senior Open. The two will tee off together at 13.50 alongside American Mark O’Meara.

The in-form player on the European Senor Tour with two victories in 2013 already, Paul Wesselingh will be hoping to add The Senior Open to his victories.

The Englishman was born in Liverpool, less than 20 miles from Royal Birkdale, and will be hoping to draw on his local knowledge in this week’s Senior Open.

Venue: Royal Birkdale, Southport, Merseyside
Date: Jul 25-28
Course stats: Par 70, 7,082 yards
Purse: $2,000,000 Winner: $315,600
Defending Champion: Fred Couples (-9)

TV Coverage
Thursday 25: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11.30 and 16.00
Friday 26: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11.30 and 16.00
Saturday 27: Live on Sky Sports 3 from 15.00
Sunday 28: Live on Sky Sports 1 Red Button from 14.00 and Sky Sports 1 from 16.30

Player Watch

Fred Couples – Finished nine over par at The Open Championship last week and will be hoping to retain his Senior Open title.

Colin Montgomerie – Making his debut at The Senior Open Championship and will be determined to win his first Senior major after winning no Majors on the regular tour.

Paul Wesselingh – The Senior Order of Merit leader and will be hoping to add to his two victories already on the tour in 2013.

Key Hole: 17th. A par 5 of 572 yards, the hole provides birdie and even eagle chances. However, it could prove to end chances at the end of the round if shots are errant.