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Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 08:54 UK

Woosnam set for Wales seniors bid

Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open
Venue: Royal Porthcawl Date: 18-20 June Starts: 0800 BST
Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, live scoreboard on BBC Sport website or follow BBC Wales golf on Twitter

Ian Woosnam
Former world number one Woosnam won the Masters at Augusta in 1991

Home hero Ian Woosnam hopes to lose his Wales Seniors Open nearly-man tag and be third time lucky at Royal Porthcawl.

The Welsh golfing great finished second to Peter Mitchell in his first Wales seniors event in 2008 before his tied third place finish last year.

"I get some great support from the Welsh crowds and I would love to repay them by claiming the title," said former world number one Woosnam.

"Royal Porthcawl is one of my favourite courses and I have good memories."

The 1991 Masters champion is one of a host of Ryder Cup stars that will play at the 10th Wales Seniors Open on the Welsh coast this weekend.

Reigning order of merit champion Sam Torrance, the victorious 2002 Ryder Cup skipper who chose Woosnam as his assistant, joins Gordon Brand Jr, Costantino Rocca and Christy O'Connor Jr at the famous Royal Porthcawl course as does last year's winner South African Bertus Smit.

Welshman Woosnam hopes to win a tournament in his home-land for the first time in 20 years since winning the European Tour's Epson Grand Prix at St Pierre near Chepstow in 1990.

Woosnam has played in the final group on the last day for the last two Senior Wales Opens events only to be overtaken by Englishman Peter Mitchell in 2008 and then Smit last year.

Bertus Smit
Bertus Smit's 2009 Wales Seniors Open win was his maiden triumph

The successful 2006 European Ryder Cup captain has also finished third at the top-tier Wales Open in 2002 and fifth at the Celtic Manor in 2005 - and will also face Irishman Des Smyth, his triumphant assistant at the K Club.

Woosnam is down in 34th in the order of merit after winning just more than £19,000 this season in just five tournaments - failing to secure a top ten finish all season.

Andrew Oldcorn and Roger Chapman are relative new-comers on the senior tour - both of whom are challenging for this year's order of merit title - and will be at Royal Porthcawl.

Thai golfer Boonchu Ruangkit leads the order of merit while fellow competitors in Wales Torrance and Bill Longmuir are both in hot pursuit after the early season events.

"It is a fantastic field with some of the best known names in the past decade of European golf coming to Royal Porthcawl," said Ryder Cup Wales Chief Executive, Rob Holt.

"Woosie and Sam have been battling it out at the top of the Order of Merit for the last two seasons, each coming out on top once, and where better for Woosie to kickstart his challenge than on home soil?

"He played so well last year in front of an enthusiastic crowd and he can expect plenty of support this time round too."

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see also
Woosnam fails in senior title bid
08 Nov 09 |  Golf
Smit beats Woosnam to Seniors win
21 Jun 09 |  Golf
Woosnam secures Irish Senior Open
07 Jun 09 |  Golf
Woosnam storms to Russian title
06 Jul 08 |  Golf
Woosnam celebrates Polish victory
01 Jun 08 |  Golf
Woosnam's career fears are eased
06 May 07 |  Golf
Europe clinch Ryder Cup hat-trick
24 Sep 06 |  Golf
Woosnam becomes Wales ambassador
09 Mar 06 |  Golf
Woosnam sacks wayward caddie
05 Aug 01 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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