Wesselingh chases dream double

PAUL Wesselingh returns to the WINSTONGolf Senior Open today hoping to successfully defend a title he won in dramatic circumstances last year, beating Bernhard Langer and Philip Golding after a three-hole play-off in a finale the former Chorley and Northenden pro describes as “one of those dream come true moments.”

PAUL WESSELINGH: Eight time winner

PAUL WESSELINGH: Eight time winner

The eight-time European Senior Tour winner provided one of the most dramatic moments of the 2014 season on the stunning Open course at the WINSTONgolf resort in northern Germany, recently voted the fifth best lay-out in the whole country.

The 53 year old was barely in the running with two holes to go but an eagle courtesy of a chip-in at the 17th and a birdie at the last meant he launched himself into contention at the eleventh hour, joining the home favourite and two-time Masters winner Langer as well as English compatriot Golding in a play-off.

Wesselingh proceeded to wow the crowds with two incredible shots into the 18th on the first and third play-off holes for birdies, both to within inches of the cup and the final one earning him a sixth career title and the first of two in his 2014 campaign.

It is no surprise, then, that he cannot wait to get his title defence up and running as he aims to add a second title of the 2015 season, having won the SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open title two months ago.

“I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “I love it around here, it’s such a nice golf course.

“It was strange last year, I was only trying to finish top ten really, then I holed a pitch from about 30-40 yards at 17 for an eagle, and then all of a sudden I birdied the last, was 15 under and I was in a play-off. In the last nine holes I didn’t really think I was anywhere near winning the tournament, then I got a bit of luck and I’m there.

“The play-off was incredible. I hit three great shots but the two wedges in particular, knocking them both to six inches, I’ll never forget. Obviously playing with Bernhard and Phil was extra special.

“It was definitely one of those dream come true scenarios. I’m playing with guys that I used to watch on TV when working as a club pro.

“Now I’m playing with them and it’s such an honour to be on this tour and playing with these great players. To consider a lot of them friends is great and I love it. Those moments like that just stick out in your mind.

“This year they’ve got the rough up, they’ve grown it in in a few places and it’s playing a bit longer because they must have had some rain. It’s just a great golf course and in this wind – I love playing in the wind – it’ll be very interesting.”

Many of the Senior Tour’s biggest stars are in the field this week for the fourth edition of the WINSTONgolf Senior Open, including former Ryder Cup Captain and 18-time European Tour winner Mark James.

James is joined by many of his former Ryder Cup team-mates, having represented Great Britain and Ireland and Europe as a player on seven occasions, with Gordon Brand Junior, Barry Lane, Costantino Rocca and Philip Walton also present.

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