1990 US PGA champion Wayne Grady is among those to play in Perth.
The legends of golf began arriving in Perth yesterday ahead of the 2012 ISPS Handa Australian Senior Open presented by ipac Western Australia.
Arriving into unseasonably wet and blustery conditions, a handful of players braved the elements to get their first look at host venue Royal Perth Golf Club ahead of Round 1.
Practice rounds were made difficult and mostly unplayable yesterday as winds reached 117km/h across Perth with rain lashing down for the majority of the afternoon. Course Manager Michael Dennis and his team will have their work cut out for them to prepare the course for the tournament as tree refuge litters the fairways and greens.
The prestigious Senior Open title will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play with 60 professionals and 5 senior amateurs set to tee it up with tournament play getting underway at 10.00am on Friday 30 November.
Following the success of a new format in 2011, this year’s tournament will also see 43 sponsor players partner the professionals in a best ball Stableford competition over the first 36 holes. The sponsor amateurs will experience playing in tournament championship conditions while also vying for the chance to win flights to Canberra to play in the LPGA co-sanctioned ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open Pro-Am in February 2013.
Amongst the field of 60 professionals will be 1991 The Open Championship winner Ian Baker-Finch and the 1990 US PGA Champion Wayne Grady, as well as test cricket legend turned professional golfer Dean Jones.
Jones who boasted a hugely successful international test cricket career between 1984 and 1992, decided to turn professional in July 2012 after testing himself in the golf amateur ranks over the past 3 years. Currently sitting at 38th on the EZ-GO Legends Tour Order of Merit, the 2012 ISPS Handa Australian Senior Open will be the first national open title that Jones contests as a professional golfer.
Arguably the most in form player in the field, Peter Fowler has returned to Australia after narrowly missing his 2013 US Champions Tour card at qualifying school in Florida last week. Fowler, who has had another hugely successful year overseas, is keen to add the Australian Senior Open title to his long list of career tournament victories.
Fowler will also use the event to sharpen his form ahead of the European Senior Tour season ending tournament in Mauritius next week where he currently sits in 4th place on the Order of Merit.
Play gets underway at the 2012 ISPS Handa Australian Senior Open at 10.00am on Friday 30 November. Entry for spectators is a gold coin donation with proceeds supporting the Telethon Adventurers, HANDA Foundation and the WA Blind and Vision Impaired Golf Association.