Wesselingh targets more seniors’ glory

PAUL Wesselingh will aim to make up for the disappointment of his beloved Derby County missing  promotion to the Premier League by scoring a hat-trick of his own in the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors’ Championship.

Paul Wesselingh

THE MAN TO BEAT: Paul Wesselingh

The 52-year-old defends his  crown at Stoke by Nayland where he will again be the man to beat in the £235,000 tournament  which starts on Thursday.

Wesselingh, the former head pro at Chorley, Northenden and Kedleston Park, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the senior ranks since gaining his European Senior Tour card, winning the PGA Seniors in just his fourth start, landing the rookie of the year award and then last year securing the John Jacobs Trophy for topping the Order of Merit.

He won four tournaments last year including a successful defence of the PGA Seniors Championship.

“I’ve had an incredible two years,” he said.

“I never thought I’d do what I did in the first year. When I started it I thought let’s try to keep my card, make the top 30 and go from there.

“Then to win my fourth event – as well as giving me a two-year exemption, it gave me a lot of confidence. As for finishing rookie of the year, that was something I really wanted but never thought I’d be able to achieve.

“And last year was just incredible – to win four events, which was a quarter of the programme, and to win the Order of Merit was just a dream come true.

“I don’t know if that’s ever been done – to follow up being Rookie of the Year by winning the Order of Merit. I’d never have thought I’d do that. Now I’ve got to see what happens this year. I’ve obviously got to change my goals a little bit now.”

One is emulating the achievement of Neil Coles and Christy O’Connor by winning the PGA Seniors Championship for a third successive season; another is improving on his performances in the majors.

Leicestershire’s Bob Larratt (Kibworth) and Shropshire’s Frank Kiddie (Hawkstone Park) will also be in action against Wesselingh and the likes of Sam Torrance, Mark James and Des Smyth who, alongside Torrance, will also be a Ryder Cup vice captain to Paul McGinley at Gleneagles later in the summer.

 

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