Yorkshire’s Stephen East will defend the English senior men’s championship at Worplesdon and West Hill golf clubs in Surrey from June 3-5 – and has already fired a warning shot at his challengers.
East (Moortown) had a memorable first senior season in 2014 and maintained his momentum this year with victory in the Portuguese senior championship. He finished five shots clear of the field in Estoril, having returned scores of 69-72-70.
He adds that title to an already impressive record which took him to the top of the England Golf senior order of merit for 2014: wins last year in the English and Spanish seniors, runner-up places in the British, Scottish and Irish seniors and fourth place in the European seniors.
In his ‘previous life’ East won the English mid-amateur three times, together with the British, European, Portuguese and French mid-amateur titles.
This year he faces an international challenge in his defence of the English senior title. The championship is open for the first time and has attracted players from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland and Australia, as well as a huge entry from England.
Over 330 players entered the championship and as a result the field has been increased from 240 to 288, with a handicap cut of 5.5.
The competitors include all the 2014 senior internationals. East is joined by 2013 champion Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa), Tyrone Carter (Stevenage), Clive Jones (Toulouse), Tony McLure (Longhirst), Alan Mew (Stoneham) and Andrew Stracey (Denham).
Other players to watch include Charlie Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wolds) a former winner of the Brabazon Trophy and the reigning Welsh senior champion.
Host club Worplesdon is providing three players: Martin Slumbers, the incoming chief executive of the R&A, together with Ian Attoe and John Harridge.
The championship will be played over 54 holes of stroke play over three days. All competitors will play 18 holes on each of the two courses over the first two days. The field will then be cut to the leading 80 competitors and ties who will play a further 18 holes on the third day at Worplesdon.