Three of the iconic 1981 United States Ryder Cup team are set to make a sentimental return to Walton Heath Golf Club for the 2011 Senior Open Championship, 30 years after defeating Europe at the venue.

Tom Kite, Jerry Pate and Tom Watson have all entered the world class field for the 25th edition of the Senior Open, which will take place at the Surrey venue, in England, for the first time from July 21-24.

The trio were part of the United States Ryder Cup team in 1981, widely acclaimed as one of the strongest in the competition’s history, which defeated Europe 18½-9½ at Walton Heath. It was the first time Europe had competed as a combined team on European soil.

Watson is a three-time Senior Open champion in addition to winning the Open Championship five times.

He teamed up with the legendary Jack Nicklaus in the 1981 Ryder Cup to win two points for the United States, including a second day foursomes defeat of Manuel Piñero and Bernhard Langer.

He will attempt to overcome Langer once more at Walton Heath, when the German defends the Senior Open crown he won at Carnoustie last year.

Kite, meanwhile, will be joined in the field by current European Senior Tour Order of Merit leader Sandy Lyle, who he defeated 3&2 in a remarkable singles match in 1981.

Pate, Kite and Watson will spearhead a strong American challenge that will cross the Atlantic this summer, which also includes former Open champions Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman and Mark O’Meara, and the 2010 United States Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, who finished runner-up to Langer last year.

Two-time champion Loren Roberts, who won the Senior Open Championship in 2009 at Sunningdale on its only other visit to the south of England, has also confirmed he will be part of the field. Andy Stubbs, managing director of the European Senior Tour, said: “We are delighted to have such a strong American contingent travelling over in July for the Championship, including the three members of the 1981 Ryder Cup team who have already confirmed their participation.”

Tickets for the Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath are on sale now.

Discounted advance tickets are priced at £60 for a season pass and £16.50 for any one day pass if booked before July 1. Visit europeantourtickets. com