Northern Ireland’s champion golfer Ronan Rafferty has announced his debut in the Senior Open Championship, Presented by Rolex, at Royal Porthcawl from July 24-27.
The seven-time European Tour champion, a genuine aficionado of links golf who has played no fewer than 156 links courses in the UK and Ireland during an illustrious career, believes that Royal Porthcawl represents the perfect venue to host Wales’s first Senior Major.
Rafferty praised the course hosting the Senior Open Championship: “I am really looking forward to going back to Royal Porthcawl.
“It’s stunning to look at and equally great to play. I know there are some changes since my last visit and we are playing it slightly differently to the usual lay-out but it will be a fantastic test of links golf for the only Senior Major to be played in Wales.
“Funnily enough, we have a regular ‘boys’ fishing trip to Wales, with Roger Chapman being part of the group. Just a couple of seasons ago Roger joined us for the trip as the US Senior PGA Senior Champion and the US Senior Open Champion. That was brilliant – two major victories in the States in just over a month. It made me realise that if Roger can do it, then there’s no reason why I can’t if I can get everything together,” he added.
“Porthcawl was one of 156 links courses I’ve played from 200-odd in the UK and Ireland. I played some when I was still competing on Tour and most of them since I retired from competition. I’ve loved the challenge and I love links. I played out of Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland and won the Irish Amateur at Royal County Down and am now an Honorary Member of that incredible course.”
To recognise Ronan’s milestone birthday, the pre-Christmas ticket offer for The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex has been extended until January 16. That means golf fans booking before that date can enjoy large savings, with season tickets costing just £60 – a 25 per cent saving on the gate price of £80.
One day tickets purchased before the deadline cost £20, a saving of £10 on the gate price, while Wednesday practice day tickets are also available at the reduced price of £10, a saving of £5 on the gate price. Under 16s are admitted for free when accompanied by an adult and parking is also free.