Walton Heath Golf Club will host the Senior Open Championship for the first time on July 21-24, 2011, 30 years after the Surrey venue staged a historic Ryder Cup.

The Senior Open Championship returns to the south of England for only the second time, following the success of the 2009 Championship at Sunningdale where American Loren Roberts triumphed.

In addition to the Ryder Cup, Walton Heath has also hosted the European Open five times and has been the US Open Championship European Qualifying venue since 2005.

Walton Heath’s place in history was sealed in 1981 when it became the first European venue to host a Ryder Cup between a combined European team – rather than Great Britain and Ireland – and the United States.

Thirteen members of the European and United States teams from that year played in the 2009 Senior Open Championship and many are expected to return to the course for next year’s competition.

Major winners Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle were also part of the European team, while Tom Watson, runner-up in the 2009 Open Championship represented the United States in their emphatic victory. 

As well as producing some memorable performances over the years – including that of New Zealander Michael Campbell who came through US Open Qualifying at Walton Heath in 2005, before going on to beat Tiger Woods to the title – Walton Heath has boasted some famous members including four serving Prime Ministers: Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Arthur Balfour and Winston Churchill. 

This year’s Senior Open Championship will also be played at a new venue on July 22-25, 2010 when it visits Carnoustie.

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