US Senior Open

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Bob Tway
Fred Couples
Gil Morgan
Kenny Perry
Scott Verplank
Vijay Singh

US Senior Open

By Tim Farley

Oak Tree National will provide a “great test of golf” when the Senior U.S. Open Championship comes to Edmond next month with 156 of the world’s top players.

Among that group are reigning U.S. Open winner Kenny Perry, Hall of Famer Fred Couples and five other previous U.S. Senior Open winners – Roger Chapman (2012), Bernhard Langer (2010), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000) and Graham Marsh (1997).

In addition, Oak Tree will be represented by some of its own members including Gil Morgan, Bob Tway, Scott Verplank and Willie Wood. However, the home course advantage may not have as much benefit as expected.

“You can know a golf course, but if you don’t have a good golf game, it doesn’t matter much,” Tway said during the May 5 U.S. Senior Open Media Day at Oak Tree National.

Tournament week begins July 7 with three practice rounds. July 8 has been designated as Military Appreciation Day, which allows all active duty personnel to enter free. The first round gets under way on July 10 with the final round set to go off July 13.

“This is the most prestigious tournament on the Senior tour,” said tournament director Jeff Ewing. “It will be a great week for Oklahoma. Already this year, we’ve hosted three NCAA championships in Oklahoma City and of course the Thunder is doing great. It will be a wonderful week of golf and a great opportunity to showcase Oak Tree once again with its rich history.”

Oak Tree hosted the 2006 Senior PGA and since then the course has been upgraded to meet United States Golf Association (USGA) standards. Oak Tree last hosted a USGA event in 1984 when Verplank won the U.S. Amateur Championship.

“It will be a great test of golf,” Ewing said, of the course improvements.
Other players who have committed to play include Vijay Singh, U.S. Open runnerups Colin Montgomery (1994, 1997, 2006), Rocco Mediate (2008), Jeff Sluman (1992) and Tom Lehman (1996).

“They may be 50 and over, but these guys can still play,” Ewing said.

That was never more evident than last month when Montgomery, now 51, shot a final round 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Tom Watson, 64, to claim the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores golf course in Benton Harbor, Mich. The victory was Montgomery’s first as a Senior player, his first in seven years and his first in an official event in the United States. It was his fifth attempt to win a Senior major, something he failed to accomplish in 71 major tournaments in his regular PGA Tour days.

Showing off Sooner style

Visitors from 40 states and three foreign countries will be among the 140,000 fans expected to attend the tournament. Translated into monetary terms, the tourney should bring more than $15 million into the Oklahoma City and Edmond economies.

“Everybody is gearing up and the hotels are filling up,” Ewing said, of the tournament preparations. “This is when it all comes together. We want to thank everyone in Oklahoma and beyond for their support and enthusiasm.
Together we are poised to stage the most significant special event in Edmond this summer.”

Oak Tree and the 156 players will be highlighted to the world as the tournament will be broadcast to more than 100 countries including live coverage on ESPN and NBC. The field will be cut to the lowest 60 scores, including ties, after the completion of the second round.

ESPN will handle the broadcasting duties for the first and second rounds while NBC will take over for the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

Visit for complete tournament details.

U.S. Senior Open Champions
1980: Roberto De Vicenzo, Winged Foot G.C. (East Course), Mamaroneck, NY
1981: Arnold Palmer, Oakland Hills C.C. (South Course), Birmingham, MI
1982: Miller Barber,Portland (OR) G.C.
1983: Billy Casper, Hazeltine National G.C., Chaska, MN
1984: Miller Barber, Oak Hill C.C. (East Course), Rochester, NY
1985: Miller Barber, Edgewood Tahoe G.C., Stateline, NV
1986: Dale Douglass, Scioto C.C., Columbus, OH
1987: Gary Player, Brooklawn C.C., Fairfield, CT
1988: Gary Player, Medinah (IL) C.C. (No. 3 Course)
1989: Orville Moody, Laurel Valley G.C., Ligonier, PA
1990: Lee Trevino, Ridgewood C.C. (Center and West nines), Paramus, NJ
1991: Jack Nicklaus, Oakland Hills C.C. (South Course), Birmingham, MI
1992: Larry Laoretti, Saucon Valley C.C. (Old Course), Bethlehem, PA
1993: Jack Nicklaus, Cherry Hills C.C., Englewood, CO
1994: Simon Hobday, Pinehurst (NC) R. & C.C. (No. 2)
1995: Tom Weiskopf,Congressional C.C. (Blue Course), Bethesda, MD
1996: Dave Stockton,Canterbury G.C., Beachwood, OH
1997: Graham Marsh, Olympia Fields (IL) C.C. (North Course)
1998: Hale Irwin,Riviera C.C., Pacific Palisades, CA
1999: Dave Eichelberger,Des Moines G. & C.C., West Des Moines, IA
2000: Hale Irwin,Saucon Valley C.C. (Old Course), Bethlehem, PA
2001: Bruce Fleisher,Salem C.C., Peabody, MA
2002: Don Pooley,Caves Valley G.C., Baltimore, MD
2003: Bruce Lietzke, Inverness Club, Toledo, OH
2004: Peter Jacobsen, Bellerive C.C., St. Louis, MO
2005: Allen Doyle, NCR C.C. (South Course), Kettering, OH
2006: Allen Doyle,Prairie Dunes C.C., Hutchinson, KS
2007: Brad Bryant,Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI; Entries 2,615
2008: Eduardo Romero,The Broadmoor (East Course), Colorado Springs, CO
2009: Fred Funk,Crooked Stick G.C., Carmel, IN
2010: Bernhard Langer, Sahalee C.C., Sammamish, WA
2011: Olin Browne, Inverness Club, Toledo, OH
2012: Roger Chapman, Indianwood G.C.C., Lake Orion, MI
2013: Kenny Perry, Omaha C.C., Omaha, NE
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