AUTRALIA’S Peter Fowler is heading into the 2012 Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in Switzerland as defending champion and also brimming with confidence after his best showing of the year last week.
Fowler won the 2011 European Senior Tour Order of Merit but has been struggling to find the golfing form that helped him secure two victories last year.
The 53 year old seemed to have solved his putting problems in Germany last week when he finished in a tie for second and is confident he will make a good show of retaining his title at the Golf Club Bad Ragaz this weekend.
“Winning Bad Ragaz last year was a very significant win for me because it gave me a nice cushion on the Order of Merit, and because Barry (Lane) finished the season so strongly, winning there really helped me to finish Number One on the Order of Merit,” Fowler said this week.
“It’s a good fun course and always in good condition so I am looking forward to it. I got the putter going a bit better last week and you just have to look at my result to tell you how important that is – I finished tied second in Germany and rolled the ball pretty good so I am hoping to take a little bit of confidence to Switzerland because it would be pretty cool to defend a title.”
“We can all be a bit insulated by the tour life.’ – Peter Fowler
Fowler was looking forward to re-establishing a successful partnership from last year.
“It’s a cool week for me anyway because I have one of the Members of the club, Bruno, caddying for me,” Fowler said. “He knows the course inside out and grew up playing there with the local pro. He is a great guy and I find that it helps to connect with the locals and the people of the town when I go there.
“We can all be a bit insulated by the tour life and it really adds something to the week and the experience to have a guy like Bruno helping me along.
“I think that is one of the great things about the Senior Tour – most of the guys like to get involved with their pro-am partners and the local Members and hopefully they get something back from the experience too.
“As far as I am concerned, making a great friend in Bruno and giving him the chance to caddie for the guy who won the tournament was great for both of us, and I hope we can do the same again.”
Other Australians taking part include Mike Harwood, Rodger Davis, David Merriman, Graham Banister, Terry Price, Noel Ratcliffe and Tim Elliott.
Two golfers lining up this week who – with a combined age of 152 – may not feature on the winning podium but will certainly garner a lot of attention are legends Gary Player and New Zealand’s Sir Bob Charles.
They will join many of the Senior Tour’s household names including Mark James, three-time Bad Ragaz champion Carl Mason, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam.2012 Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open Leaderboard