With seven events down and seven to go, the 2014 European Senior Tour season reaches its halfway point this week at the prestigious Travis Perkins Masters in Woburn, as double Senior Major Champion Colin Montgomerie (pictured by Getty Images) returns to defend the crown he won so memorably 12 months ago.
Montgomerie, who won both the US Senior PGA Championship and US Senior Open Championship earlier this year, holds a commanding lead at the summit of the Senior Tour Order of Merit and will be looking to further solidify his bid for a first John Jacobs Trophy with a strong showing on the Duke’s Course this week.
After a prolific career on The European Tour which yielded 31 titles and a record eight Order of Merits, Montgomerie returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in more than six years when he completed a dominant six-shot triumph at the Travis Perkins Masters in 2013 in just his third Senior Tour appearance.
In front of record crowds that numbered more than 23,000 across the week, Montgomerie fired rounds of 68-68-70 for victory at an event which is undoubtedly one of the most respected on the Senior Tour calendar.
Another man who has excelled on the Duke’s Course for much of his career, not least in the last two years since joining the Senior ranks, is Spain’s Miguel Angel Martin.
As well as his runner-up finish to Montgomerie last year, the three-time European Tour winner finished fifth at Woburn in 2012 and, were it not for the stunning efforts of one of his Senior Tour colleagues, Ian Woosnam, Martin might have also triumphed on the Duke’s Course 20 years ago.
“I like Woburn very much,” said Martin. “I like the trees and the way it looks. You sometimes have to drive the ball straight, sometimes fade, sometimes draw, I like shaping the ball off the tee and the Duke’s Course makes you do that.
“It brings back good memories going back there because it is a golf course you can manage, you can see the shots.
“I always liked playing there on The European Tour too in the British Masters. I nearly won on the Duke’s Course when Ian won in 1994.
“I was leading by three shots with nine holes to go and Ian shot six under on the back nine to beat everybody.
“But I love the golf course! They also treat us fantastic over there and there is always an excellent atmosphere.”
Woburn Golf Club, near Milton Keynes just north of London, is this week hosting the Travis Perkins Masters for a 14th consecutive year, and Montgomerie and Martin will be joined on the Duke’s Course by a plethora of talent including former European Number One Ronan Rafferty and Masters Tournament Champion Woosnam.
Also returning to Woburn this week are the reigning Senior Tour Number One Paul Wesselingh and the 2013 Rookie of the Year Steen Tinning, plus last week’s first-time winner Cesar Monasterio, who prevailed at the English Senior Open at Rockliffe Hall in just his fifth start in Senior golf.
Former Ryder Cup captains Mark James and Sam Torrance are also present in what is a world-class field assembled for the renowned tournament.
Tickets will be available on the gate priced at £15 daily and £30 season. Under 16s will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult
Source: European Tour