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The 64-player field is stacked with star power, including last year’s champion Euan McIntosh, defending Legends Tour Order of Merit winner James Kingston, 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell and 1991 Masters victor Ian Woosnam.
Kingston is relishing getting his 2023 underway in Austria: “After last season, I’m ready to go and I think everyone is eager to get going. What a wonderful place to start the season in Austria. They do an unbelievable job looking after all the players from the moment you arrive. We’re treated like royalty – and that’s why it’s such a popular event for the players to come back to.”
The South African is good friends with Michael Campbell and the pair have shared some friendly banter on social media ahead of the new season. Campbell has rededicated himself over the winter, and he’s gunning for top spot on the Order of Merit.
“I’ve put a lot of time and effort into my game over the last four months,” says the 2005 US Open winner. “I went to see my coach (Jonathan Yarwood) in America, who I haven’t seen for a couple of years. I spent two weeks with him working a lot on my swing and short game. It’s different when you come to a tournament with a scorecard in your pocket, but I know if I keep the processes going, eventually it will come together. If it does this week, that’s a bonus.”
Located just north of Graz, Murhof was founded in 1962 and is hosting the Legends Tour for the fourth time. The course is a par 72 that measures 6,645 yards and features scenic tree-lined fairways and undulating greens that require precise shot-making.
Kingston knows you have to be accurate to score well: “You’ve got to get the ball in play and give yourself as many opportunities as possible. The par-5s are going to be crucial and there are one or two holes where you need to keep a big number off the card. It’s a fun course to play, and you’ll give yourself opportunities if you drive the ball well.”
Murhof has hosted a number of international golf events, including the Austrian Ladies Open from 1998-2000, the European Amateur Championship in 2000, and a home victory for Markus Brier, who is also playing this week, at the Austrian Golf Open on the Challenge Tour in 2002.
This year’s Legends Tour schedule includes 15 tournaments in 12 different countries, all culminating at the MCB Tour Championship Mauritius at Constance Belle Mare Plage on December 8th-10th, 2023.