Four of Wales’ leading golf courses have been announced as host venues for the Monday Qualifying prior to the 2017 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, which returns to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club from July 27-30, for the second time in four years.
Ashburnham, Pyle & Kenfig and Southerndown were used as qualifying venues in 2014, and the inclusion of Machynys for the first time brings the number of venues to four from three used two years ago.
A total of 38 spots were available for those who successfully qualified for this year’s Senior Open Championship, joining a field comprising the world’s best over-50s golfers, including Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson and 2016 Senior Open Champion, Paul Broadhurst.
Regarded as one of the best golf courses in west Wales, Ashburnham has hosted a number of Welsh Amateur Championships and Harry Vardon, six-time winner of The Open, said the course in Carmarthenshire was his favourite out of all the courses in Wales.
The course is over 6,600 yards in length, and a course record of just 66 proves this is a worthy site for Senior Open Championship qualification. Ryder Cup Captains Bernard Gallacher and Sam Torrance have previously won at Ashburnham, with Gallacher triumphing in the 1969 PGA Championship and Torrance capturing his second European Tour title in the 1976 Martini Open.
The newest addition for Senior Open Qualifying, the Nicklaus-designed Machynys Clwb Golff is held in high esteem by a number of European Tour professionals, including Tommy Fleetwood who believes the course is ‘the best man-made links in the world’.
At 7,121 yards, the course has hosted the 2012 Seniors Amateur Championship, the 2013 Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship and the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe for four years.
Pyle & Kenfig, just 10 minutes’ drive from Royal Porthcawl, stretches over 6,800 yards with a par of 71. The course hosted the 2009 Senior Ladies British Open Amateur Championship and co-hosted the 2016 Amateur Championship along with Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.
Southerndown has seen numerous changes since it was opened in 1905, but is no stranger to hosting prestigious events, including the 1968 Martini International, won by home favourite Brian Huggett, and the Piccadilly Medal in both 1970 and 1971.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said on behalf of the Championship: “We are very much looking forward to returning to Royal Porthcawl for the 2017 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex. We are delighted to revisit the three qualifying courses from 2014 – Ashburnham Golf Club, Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club and Southerndown Golf Club for the Monday qualifying event.
“With the addition of Machynys Golf Club, we have four superb venues for next year’s qualifying that will test the professional and amateur golfers alike as they attempt to qualify for the 2017 Championship.”
Qualifying for the 2017 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex will take place on Monday, July 24.
Southerndown Golf Club
Ogmore by Sea