Following the introduction of several new players, a new title sponsor in Staysure and brand-new tournaments around the globe, the European Senior Tour is on the rise, with the Farmfoods European Senior Masters one of the newest events on the map. With excitement building ahead of the beginning of the 2018 season in March, starting with the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq, taking place in Abu Dhabi, let’s take a look at a few of the stars to watch on the Tour this year…
The American came into 2017 as a relative unknown after gaining a Tour card through qualifying school. After a tricky start at the first event in Sharjah, finishing tied 19th, Clark found his feet on the Tour and went on to record a fantastic six top-five finishes, winning the Dutch Masters, the Senior Italian Open and finishing top of the Order of Merit, taking home the John Jacobs trophy in his rookie season. 2018 will present him with a different type of challenge, but if he can replicate his 2017 form, he will have a chance to clinch back-to-back titles.
Having turned 50 in October, Peter was only eligible to take part in two European Senior Tour Events last year. He got off to a flier, hosting his first, the Farmfoods European Senior Masters and recording a top 10 finish, before finishing in the top 20 for his second at the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius. His pedigree speaks for itself and he is renowned as one of the most respected and popular players within the game. Peter’s first full season as a senior professional on the Staysure Tour will be a tough test but one he’ll be able to take in his stride.
A top 10 placing in the first event of 2017 in Sharjah was the perfect start to the European Senior Tour season for Stephen Dodd. But a run of bad form saw him only make one top 20 finish in the next eight events before September. Whether it was the autumnal air, or the leaves beginning to fall off the trees; Stephen’s form became red hot making three consecutive top 10 finishes before the inaugural Farmfoods European Senior Masters in October, where he holed an extraordinary 40 foot birdie-winning putt to take home his second career Staysure Tour title. If the Welshman’s end-of-season form is any indication, he will certainly be one to watch on the 2018 Staysure Tour.
Another qualifying school success story, Brendan proved that consistency was the way to go in his debut season on the European Senior Tour. The Irishman topped the qualifying school back in February 2017, and showed exactly why, with a string of eight top-20 finishes across the season, including tying for second place at the Travis Perkins Masters, which helped him to retain his tour card by finishing 20th in the 2017 Order of Merit. Known for his colourful attire, Brendan will be hoping his consistent results can continue to bring him success in 2018.
Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup winning captain began his European Senior Tour career last year, and surprised no one when landing three top 10 finishes out of the five events he entered, including a tied second at the Farmfoods European Senior Masters. McGinley’s pedigree and prowess within the game speaks for itself, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone for him to shine on the Staysure Tour once again.
The inaugural Farmfoods European Senior Masters was won by Welshman Stephen Dodd, in a fiercely contested event at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club last month. As the first tournament of its kind in the Midlands for over a decade, the Staysure Tour event saw thousands of spectators flock to the Birmingham-based course to see golfing heroes such as 2014’s Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley, 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam OBE and tournament host Peter Baker participate.
The 2018 Farmfoods European Senior Masters takes place between 4-7 October 2018, for more information visit: www.europeanseniormasters.com.