Bernhard Langer has expressed his surprise that Nick Price, winner of the last Open to be played at Turnberry, is not returning there next month.
The two are now stars of the Champions Tour in America and Langer, in Munich for the BMW International Open starting today, said: "If I was exempt I would play, especially as it's the week before the Senior British Open."
Price, now 52, won on the Scottish course in 1994, earning an exemption that will not run out for another eight years.
But the Zimbabwean has decided not to enter for family reasons and because he would prefer to see the place taken up by a younger player.
"I've not spoken to Nick about it, but your priorities might change at a certain time in your life," added Langer, who cannot now qualify for The Open.
Runner-up to Bill Rogers at Sandwich in 1981 and to Seve Ballesteros at St Andrews in 1984, the German star was third at Lytham only eight years ago, but has not been part of the last two Opens.
He has already earned over a million dollars in seniors golf this season - and last year topped their money list with more than two million.
Langer is back now for what is the 446th appearance of a European Tour career which stretches all the way back to 1974.
Last year he was paired in the first two rounds with rising German star Martin Kaymer, who went on to win in a play-off against Dane Anders Hansen, and this time he finds himself alongside Northern Irish wonder kid Rory McIlroy.
The 20-year-old, who was 10th on his US Open debut on Monday, said: "He obviously still has the game to compete and I think it will be a great experience for me.
"Hopefully I might pick up something from him."