AFTER a promising performance at the US Senior PGA Championship veteran Australian pro Peter Fowler is back across the Atlantic and hoping for big things on the European Senior Tour this year.
First up is the 2016 Wales Open where the 56 year old wouldn’t mind going one better than his second place finish last year at The Celtic Manor Resort.
Fowler went on to win the next two European Senior Tour (EST) events back to back – the Acorn Jersey Open and ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship – and finished the season second in the Order of Merit, which he won in 2011.
The man who, for some inexplicable reason they call “Chook”, has had a pretty good time on the EST, finishing in the top five on the Order of Merit five times since joining in 2009.
Fowler was 5-under going into the final round of the US Senior PGA Championship last weekend but slipped back to finish T39 after closing with a 3-over 74.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into some real competition against some really good players,” he said this week in Wales. “My preparations have been a bit rushed in terms of getting acclimatised, but I’m trying to do my best.
“I’ve played plenty of golf at lots of small events apart from the Perth International and then last week in the States. But I’m ready to go and hopefully it’ll be a good year.”
In 2015 Fowler went into the final day at Celtic Manor Resort one under par, three shots behind joint leaders Paul Wesselingh and Ian Woosnam.
He then shot 66, the joint-lowest round of the day, but Wesselingh held his nerve to record his eighth Senior Tour win
“It would be good to go that one step further,” Fowler said. “I’ve been trying to do my homework on the greens here. The wind is tricky, but the greens are even trickier.
“There’s so much slope on them you really need to learn as much as you can about them. They have got some massive, massive slopes on these greens.
“You definitely don’t want to be in the wrong place.
“That being said, I really enjoy it here. The hotel and facilities are good and the course is in great shape again.”
Fowler, who finished second to Colin Montgomerie in the Order of Merit last year, believes he has what it takes to go one better in the money list this time round.
“I’m really looking forward to the season, the Senior Open Championship in particular. Playing golf in Europe has been my life over the last 33 years and I want it to continue for as long as possible.
“Fitness is key at this level. If you go out there feeling good then you have half a chance.”
Other Aussies teeing up in Wales this week include Peter O’Malley, now playing in his second EST season, and tour stalwart Mike Harwood.
Wales Senior Open LeaderboardWales Senior Open Leaderboard