With the world’s best over-50s golfers teeing it up for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex, we take a look at three players you should probably keep an eye on as title contenders.
It has been quite the run for Retief Goosen. The newly minted 50-year-old was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last month, and then went on to notch his first Senior Major Championship victory at the Bridgestone Senior Players only two weeks ago.
Between the years 2001 and 2004—the prime years of Tiger Woods’ legendary career—the South African won the U.S. Open Championship twice, first at Southern Hills in 2001 and then again at Shinnecock Hills in 2004, while also topping the European Tour Order of Merit in back-to-back seasons in 2001 and 2002.
With wind in his sails, the man nicknamed “Goose” will go for glory on a course he has gotten to know fairly well. During his professional career, he has played the weekend on all three occasions that The Open has been held at Royal Lytham & St Annes, with a best finish of tied 13th in 2001. Goosen will surely be considered among the favourites to lift The Senior Open Trophy and collect his second Senior Major, much like defending champion Miguel Ángel Jiménez did at last year’s event.
The form horse
José Coceres may not be a name that many immediately recognise, but anyone would be foolish to overlook the Argentinian’s chances of winning this week. In only six starts on the Staysure Tour this year, the 55-year-old has claimed a win, at the Swiss Seniors Open, a tied-third, where he missed out on a play-off by a single shot, at the Senior Italian Open, and a tied fourth at the Jordan Mixed Open, where he finished as the lowest over-50s player.
A two-time European Tour and two-time PGA Tour winner, Coceres currently leads the Staysure Tour Order of Merit by a wide margin and is quietly being mentioned as a name to look out for on Sunday afternoon.
Barry Lane has a bona-fide links golf pedigree and will aim to win his first Senior Major when he tees it up this week at Royal Lytham & St Annes. The Englishman, who picked up his seventh Staysure Tour title in May with a play-off victory at the Senior Italian Open, has previously won the Scottish Open in 1988—one of his five European Tour titles— and won the Scottish Senior Open in back-to-back years in 2011 and 2012. Lane comes into The Senior Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes occupying the second spot on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit and must be considered in with a chance to pick up his first Senior Major.