Wales welcomes back the Senior Open
The Senior Open Presented by Rolex returns to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club for the first time in six years this weekend, as the Bridgend venue plays host to the 2023 Championship, where some of the biggest names in golf are set to battle it out on the Welsh coastline.
The Senior Open Presented by Rolex is one of the most sought-after titles in the senior game and returns to Royal Porthcawl for the first time since 2017, making it the third time for Wales to host the event.
The venue, which offers stunning views across Swansea Bay to the Gower Peninsula and offers a true test of golf, has previously hosted numerous prestigious Championships such as The Amateur and the Walker Cup and will host the AIG Women’s Open in 2025, one of the biggest events in Women’s sport and the first time that event has been held in Wales.
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford had the opportunity to visit Royal Porthcawl on the first day of the event (Thursday 27th July). He said: “Royal Porthcawl Golf Club is one of the world’s leading links courses and one of the many great courses we have in Wales waiting to welcome golfers of all standards from across the world.
“In addition to the economic boost the event will provide to the area, we’re looking forward to welcoming the players and spectators back to Wales again to explore more of what Wales has to offer.”
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, will attend the trophy presentation on Sunday, she said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with the R&A and the European Tour group to bring this prestigious event to Wales – and we’re looking forward to welcoming the players and spectators back to Wales for the first time since 2017.
“It is great to welcome so many of the highest profile names in golf to Wales again and I am sure the course will provide a true test for the world’s best senior golfers and it’s not just about Porthcawl with qualifying events at Pyle and Kenfig, Southerndown, Machynys and Ashburnham.”
Germany’s Bernhard Langer has won both the previous editions of the event played in Wales. In 2014, the first time the event visited Wales, two-time Masters Champion Langer made history by cruising to a 13-stroke lead as he finished on 18 under par. However he will face stiff competition from the likes of last year’s winner Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jiminez and Wales’ own Ian Woosnam and 2021 winner Stephen Dodd.
Edward Kitson, of the European Tour group and Championship Director of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex, said: “We are delighted to return to Wales and Royal Porthcawl for this year’s Senior Open.
“Both previous editions held in Wales have produced many memorable moments and we are excited to see what this year brings. We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government for their support in bringing this great championship back to this wonderful part of the country.”
Dr David L Jones, Captain, Royal Porthcawl, said: “We at Royal Porthcawl are thrilled to be once again hosting The Senior Open Championship. We look forward to giving a warm Welsh welcome to our visitors from all over the globe and so help showcase South Wales, as a world class golfing destination. We are hugely grateful for the support of Welsh Government, Bridgend County Borough Council, the Tour and The R&A, and look forward to the course providing a stern but fair challenge to these great players.”
Councillor Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “It’s a real honour for the council to be one of the official delivery partners for the event and this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what Bridgend County Borough has to offer on the world stage.
“There has been tremendous support from local residents, volunteers and businesses, with everyone collectively recognising how hugely beneficial golf tourism is to the local economy as a whole.