Senior British Open up where it belongs
BY Bruce Young | European Seniors Tour | 2003 Senior British Open | Preview | 24 Jul 2003
The Senior British Open takes on greater meaning than ever before this week, when for the first time it gains status as a ‘major’ on both the European Seniors and US Champions Tour. To further elevate its place in world golf, it is being staged at the magnificent Turnberry course in Ayershire in Scotland.
After battling for many years to achieve the recognition an event carrying its name deserves, the 2003 event boasts far and away its best ever field ever. One of the feature match ups is that between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus who, in 1977, provided one of the great last day duels in British Open golf. Two further Opens have been played at Turnberry since with Norman winning in 1986 and Nick Price in 1984. Last year the Women’s British Open was played there for the first time when Karrie Webb prevailed.
The Ailsa course at Turnberry was designed in 1946 by the British architect McKenzie Ross following the properties role as a wartime airfield. The hotel above the golf course was used as a hospital during World War Two. The course measures just on 7000 yards and carries a par of 70.
The field includes Tom Watson, Craig Stadler who won last week on the PGA Tour a week after winning on the Champions Tour, Jack Nicklaus, Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Kite, and Bob Gilder.
Previous British Open winners Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Bob Charles and Arnold Palmer are in the field.
Australasians include Charles, Graham Marsh, Stewart Ginn, Rodger Davis, Brian Jones, Noel Ratcliffe, Terry Gale, David Good, Barry Vivian and Simon Owen.
The tournament carries a purse of 1.41 million euros with a first prize of 222,000 euros ($A390,000).