The second round of the prestigious KHG Funds Senior Open golf tournament – which has MBL Financial as principal sponsor – is coming up on August 7 at Rowany Golf Club. The Island’s premier seniors event comprises three rounds – the first was held at Douglas Golf Course on July 3, with the grand finale being held at Ramsey on September 4. His Excellency Lieutenant Governor Mr Adam Wood will play in the third and final round which will be followed by a buffet and prize presentation. After round one, George Ferguson is leading the men’s Senior category and is the overall tournament leader. Lynda Jackson is the women’s Senior leader. In the Super Senior categories the men’s and women’s leaders are Calvin Quayle and Pauline Merrill.
Following the success of the beat the pro competition in the first round, when the players raised £700 for the tournament’s nominated charity Hospice Isle of Man, the 13th hole at Rowany will be the setting for the players to attempt to raise further funds for the charity. A small issue has presented itself to the organisers of the tournament as Rowany doesn’t have a professional player at the club. Therefore, Creechurch Capital Limited, KHG Funds investment manager, have stepped forward and will provide its own ‘pro’ player from its ranks and they will set the mark that the others have to beat. As in the first round, for every player whose shot beats the pro’s effort, Creechurch will donate £100 to Hospice. Stewart Quayle, Creechurch Capital’s Senior Business Development Manager, joked: “We have sent an email to all the staff to see who will come forward to take the pro shot. However, as our team spend their time in front of screens watching world markets for their clients, rather than time on the golf course, this could be a very rewarding day for Hospice!”
Mary Doyle, PR and Marketing Manager for Hospice Isle of Man, thanked KHG Funds and MBL Financial and all those taking part in the tournament for their continuing support and efforts to raise funds for the charity.
Ahead of the second round, Rowany’s Captain Martin Young has some hints and tips to help players to master the course. He says: “Rowany offers a relatively gentle opening few holes and a chance to get some good scores on the card early in the round as things get decidedly trickier later on. Worthy of note early in the round is the par 5 fifth. It has out of bounds down the right but the approach to the green is blind and over a hill. The sensible play is to take two decent blows to the base of the hill and give yourself an 80 yard pitch. Being that close allows you to quickly walk up and check out the line and gauge your pitch accordingly.
“Holes 10, 11 and 12 are Rowany’s answer to ‘Amen Corner’ and many a good card can be wrecked through this stretch of holes. 10 is a 540 yard par 5 that really needs a good drive to the generous fairway. The 11th has out of bounds all down the right, plus a tricky three tiered green to look forward to that is guarded by a bunker and out of bounds at the back to catch the odd ‘flier’. The 12th is a real test of nerve. A solid drive must clear the gorse just 50 yards in front of the tee while the fairway narrows like the neck of a wine bottle into a very narrow, two tiered, green surrounded by very nasty gorse. Take it on and miss at your peril!”
The eighth hole at Rowany will be used for a nearest the pin competition in the Senior Open. It’s a short par 3, and players tee-off at the top and hit down over all the gorse, bracken and trees to the green below. Depending on the wind direction, says Martin, you can be hitting any of the clubs in your bag. You can follow the tournament live on the day via twitter @khgfunds to see how much money has been raised for Hospice Isle of Man. MBL Financial – the principal sponsor of Senior Open – is one of the Island’s longest established Independent Financial Advisers and is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission.