Croham Hurst golfer among 600 hopefuls for Senior service

The 19th hole: the clubhouse at Croham Hurst Golf Club, whose Timothy Trod is hoping to qualify to play at next week’s Senior Open

While Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy take on the world’s top pro golfers at Hoylake in the Open Championship this week, two of the best players from local clubs have been getting in their last practice rounds before trying to qualify for next week’s Senior Open.

To stand a chance of competing alongside the likes of golfing legends Darren Clarke, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie at Royal Porthcawl next week, Banstead Downs Golf Club’s Jonathan Collier and Timothy Trodd, a member at Croham Hurst GC, must first qualify at one of a series of tournaments being staged on Monday.

Collier has been allocated to play in the one-round qualifier competition being held at Monk Island, on the Machynys Peninsula, near Llanelli in west Wales, while Trodd will play at Pyle and Kenfig, Bridgend.

The Senior Open is much like The Open itself, except to play in this Rolex-sponsored tournament, you need to be over 50 years old.

Darren Clarke, the defending champion, said, “The Senior Open provides a fantastic opportunity for amateur golfers to potentially play alongside some of the world’s best senior professional players.

Long range: Colin Montgomerie is one of the top pros expected to play in next week’s Senior Open

“I’m looking forward to seeing who will be joining me at Royal Porthcawl. The Senior Open is a very special tournament to me and I’d like to wish all of the players the very best of luck with qualifying.”

Clarke won the Senior Open at Gleneagles last year, 11 years on from his emotional victory in The Open at Royal St George’s. He is one of only four men to have won the Senior Open after having been champion in the world’s oldest Open championship.

Collier and Trodd are among 600 applicants for places in this year’s Senior Open. The organisers received so many entries, they are staging an extra, fourth qualifying tournament on Monday.

David Williams, the tournament director of the Senior Open presented by Rolex, said: “It is every golfer’s dream to tee it up in a major championship and the Qualifying Events always throw up some interesting stories, with a mixture of professionals and talented amateurs vying for a play in the event.”

Spectator tickets for the Senior Open presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club are on sale now, with prices starting at just £25 for adults for tournament days.

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