Wales to Host First Major Golf Championship

The Senior British Open will be played in Wales for the first time in 2014 at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. In addition, the Wales Senior Open will return to the European Senior Tour schedule in 2012 at Conwy Golf Club through a 5-million-pound agreement involving the Welsh Government, European Tour and Royal & Ancient Golf Club.

These announcements follow the successful staging of the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Resort. The Senior Open, which was first played in 1987, became one of the biggest events on the Champions Tour calendar after it received major championship designation in 2003.

In July American Russ Cochran won the title. Other past champions include Gary Player (1988, '90 and '97), Tom Watson (2003, '05 and '07) and Bernhard Langer (2010).

The Wales Senior Open was first held at Royal St. David's Golf Club, Harlech, in 2001. Its past winners include South Africa's John Bland, Carl Mason of England and Spain's Josť Rivero.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, speaking at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, said: "I am delighted to announce that, for the first time, the Senior Open Championship is to be held here in Wales. Our reputation as a golfing nation goes from strength to strength. We have already proven that Wales can host top quality, international golf events. We have the facilities, the venues, the infrastructure and, most importantly, the welcome that all add up to us being a great host country.

"We have worked tirelessly to capitalize on the profile which Wales has gained from golf. The value of golf tourism to the Welsh economy was (42 million pounds) in 2010 and we will now use the Senior Open as another tool to promote Wales as a golf nation to the rest of the UK, Europe, the US and the wider world."

Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, added, "The R&A is delighted that the Senior Open Championship is to be staged in Wales and in particular at Royal Porthcawl. It is one of Britain's finest links courses with a rich history of staging events at the highest level."

"The European Tour has a strong affinity with golf in Wales - Brian Huggett, Dai Rees and Ian Woosnam have all been Ryder Cup captains - and we are delighted that, on the field of competition, history is again in the making with the Senior Open Championship coming to Wales for the first time," said George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour.