Old Course event symbolises brighter future for Seniors

The Old Course at St Andrews will host this year's Senior Open Championship.
The Old Course at St Andrews will host this year's Senior Open Championship.
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While Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth will be the headline acts in Scotland’s festival of world-class golf this summer, the golden oldies also deserve support, at St Andrews in particular when it stages the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex for the first time in July and at Craigielaw in September as it hosts the Scottish Senior Open.

Both feature in the Staysure Tour, new name for the European Senior Tour, and, after a tough couple of seasons, it is pleasing to see the over-50s circuit picking up again.

“We’re going to end up on the Staysure Tour with 20 to 21 events, which will be five or six more than last year,” said David MacLaren, head of the circuit. “Some of this is cyclical but we’ve worked so hard and I have to give credit to (European Tour chief executive) Keith Pelley. When the Senior Tour was at a relatively low ebb, rather than saying is this something that needs to be a focus, he said yes it does, and it has something to offer, let’s try to rebuild and make it grow.”

Having spent some time with Italian Costantino Rocca in St Andrews last week, it is easy to see why MacLaren feels the Staysure Tour has something to offer.

“We can compare ourselves to the Champions Tour but why should we, they exist on a very special level,” he added. “We have great players such as Tino, Barry Lane, Ian Woosnam and Gordon Brand Jnr who are so full of stories and so willing to help and engage. I think our future is really bright and the most obvious symbol of that is playing on the Old Course this summer.”