Sam Torrance wants to continue his Irish love affair in this week’s €250,000 Handa Irish Senior Open at Carton House.
The Scot, 58, won the Irish Open on the main tour in 1981 and 1995 before lifting the over 50s title at Fota Island in 2006.
Bidding to complete his second Irish double on the magnificent Montgomerie Course this week, Torrance said: “Ireland has meant a huge amount to me in my career.
Torrance is extra motivated this year after a hand injury forced him to withdraw early in the second round last year.
“It’s always a great place to play golf and have fun at the same time,” he said. “It’s always been special and Monty’s course is a great test and it’s going to produce a great champion.”
Set to tee it up with Des Smyth and Angel Franco in Friday’s first round, Torrance added: “Winning the Irish Open at Portmarnock in 1981 was the first really big title of my career and it spurred me on to a new level.
“The fields were always fantastic, the best we had in Europe outside the Open Championship, and to win that title again at Mount Juliet in 1995 meant the world.”
The Torrance family has a close bond with Ireland as Sam’s dad Bob has coached Padraig Harrington to three major victories.
But Torrance won’t have it easy on the tough Montgomerie layout with another two-time Irish Open champion also bidding to win his second Irish Seniors Open.
Welsh wizard Ian Woosnam added to the great memories of his Irish Open wins of 1988 and ‘89 by skippering Europe to that record-equalling Ryder Cup win at The K Club in 2006.
He came back last season to win the Seniors crown in a play-off at Ballybunion and is set to do battle with former PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn and a record-chasing Carl Mason.
Winner of the title at Adare Manor six years ago, Mason needs to win just €2,719 this week to become the first player to pass the €2million mark in career earnings on the European Senior Tour.
Ireland has a dozen title challengers headed by Smyth, Ryder Cup heroes Christy O’Connor Jnr and Eamonn Darcy, Cork’s Denis O’Sullivan and Ulster star Jimmy Heggarty.