7 Players to Follow at The Senior Open
The dust continues to settle after a momentous 150th Open Championship, but now it's time for the senior equivalent, which is being played within the grandeur of the Gleneagles Hotel and its acclaimed Kings Course.
It will be a treat to see this magnificent layout showcased widely again. Originally designed by the great James Braid, many recall with fondness the days of the Bell's Scottish Open during the late 1980s and early 90s, when the likes of Ian Woosnam, Jesper Parnevik and Peter O'Malley triumphed here.
Last year, Stephen Dodd won the Senior Open at Sunningdale, but the Welshman faces a difficult task at retaining that title with many established names making the journey to Perthshire.
Who could be the champion this weekend? Here are some potential contenders.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Winner at St Andrews in 2018, the crowd-favourite Spaniard remains a major contender on the senior circuit, as he demonstrated by securing a pair of victories at the beginning of this year on the PGA Tour Champions. Now 58, the former Ryder Cup stalwart will expect to contend in the heartland of Scotland.
Last Friday, the two-time champion looked set to roll back the years at the 150th Open before succumbing on the back-nine and missing the cut at the Home of Golf. However, the recent US Senior Open winner is a meticulous pursuer of improvement and could be the man to beat at Gleneagles, especially when you consider the prodigious distances he is driving the ball.
Like Harrington, the big South African also threatened the lead during the early stages at St Andrews. The 52-year-old is yet to claim a major on the Champions Tour, but came close at the recent Senior Players Championship. Winning at the Kings Course would sit nicely alongside his two Claret Jugs.
The Scotsman had the honour of hitting the first shot at last week's historic Open Championship and he will enjoy home crowd support in Perthshire. Winner of the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship at Trevose in June, Lawrie also lost a playoff to Richard Green in Jersey, establishing himself as one of the form players on the Legends Tour.
Since turning 50 last year, the New Zealander has been a breakthrough sensation, picking up four victories, including the Senior PGA Championship in May. Carrying that momentum into the Senior Open, it would be no surprise to see him walk away with another title on Sunday.
Finishing ahead of Steve Stricker, Els and Alker, the effervescent American won the Senior Players Championship a fortnight ago at Firestone. That was the 55-year-old's tenth victory on the Champions Tour and he will feel confident at Gleneagles with his precision off the tee a huge asset around the Kings.
On Sunday, the 51-year-old Australian picked up his second Legends Tour win in a month after overcoming Phillip Archer in a playoff. Weeks ago, Green also saw off Paul Lawrie in extra holes, which makes him a standout contender who could usurp the big names at the Senior Open and complete an Aussie double after Cameron Smith became the Champion Golfer of the Year.
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