Andrew Oldcorn believes that it will be another tough year for the senior tour pros in Europe as they face up to the prospect of a threadbare 2021 schedule.
The Legends Tour, formerly the StaySure Tour, hasn't staged an event since December 2019. By the time the next scheduled European-based tournament goes ahead in June, 19 months will have passed.
The first event of the Legends Tour’s 2021 season was supposed to be the Riegler & Partner Legends in May, until it was announced last month that the tournament had been pushed back to October.
The Legends Tour season will now begin with the first senior major championship of the year, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, while the first event on European soil will be the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship at Trevose Golf Club in England from June 18-20.
“If we get to play this year, it’s going to be a very stunted and stop-start schedule in many ways,” Oldcorn told bunkered.co.uk.
“I think most of the guys’ attitude is that if anything happens, it will be a bonus this season. If we get between eight and ten tournaments, well, that’s events we get to play in that we didn’t have last year. If you look at the schedule now, and if every tournament is played, then eight to ten tournaments is where we are at.
“Hopefully, next year, things can re-establish themselves and we can get back up to a normal schedule of about 20 tournaments.”
Looking ahead, Oldcorn is confident that the UK-based tournaments will go ahead in 2021 but has concerns over those being played on the continent.
“I spoke to the powers-that-be last week and they are confident the event will go ahead at Trevose Golf Club,” added the three-time European Tour winner. “I think the British tournaments should be okay. They are just trying to assess the protocols and how it’s all going to work. After that, who knows what will happen. The tournaments are scheduled but who knows if they’ll go ahead.”
When Oldcorn tees it up at the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship, it will be the first time he has done so on the Legend’s Tour in almost two years – something he says he has serious concerns about.
“I’ve reconciled myself to the fact there’s nothing I can do about it,” he says. “I don’t know how long I’ve got left and when you take 20 months out of your career, at the age I am, that’s very significant for me.”
To keep his game ticking over, Oldcorn has been playing regularly at his local course, Ratho Park Golf Club, where he recently carded a 59 – a feat he is delighted with.
Been a member at @rathoparkgolf since 1976 when I was 16 years old , 2 days after my 61’st birthday and after a few close shaves over the last 46 years finally did it ! 59 🏌️♂️🤩🤩 life in the old dog yet @euLegendsTour pic.twitter.com/zYl7eVn5z5— Andy Oldcorn3 (@andyoldcorn) April 2, 2021
“It was a real thrill because I had only ever broken 60 once before, which was about 30 years ago at Dalmahoy,” said Oldcorn. “After birdieing the 13th, I just needed one more birdie and to keep my card clean.
“I had a six-footer on the 16th and, because we can’t take the pins out at the minute, it hit the pin and bounced out. I missed a six-footer on the hardest hole on the course on the 17th. One of my friends was playing with me and he was getting more agitated than I was. I then hit a 9-iron to about 18 inches at the last, which made it rather easier than it could have been.”