The 38th edition of the U.S. Senior Open tees off on Thursday morning at historic Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts.
For the USGA’s premier senior championship, the Donald Ross-design will play to a par-70 (35-35) at 6,815 yards.
As we do each week, here are the 5 Power Picks for the U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club.
In relation to his peers, Bernhard Langer on the senior circuit has been like Pedro Martinez in his prime: nearly untouchable. Langer is coming off a 2016 season where he had four wins, four runner-ups, and 18 top 10s in 21 events.
So far, 2017 has been more of the same, with three victories in ten events, including the two majors, eight top 10s, and his $1.77 million in earnings is nearly double what second place Scott McCarron ($940,351) has earned.
Now, he comes into Salem Country Club with the Langer-slam still intact. While the field is undeniably strong, Langer is still the favorite, and it would be a large upset if he did not at least factor into the championship.
Only one player this year appears to be in Bernhard Langer’s league, that being 57-year-old Fred Couples. In seven events, Couples has two victories, and six finishes inside the top six.
Couples’ impressive comeback victory at last week’s American Family Insurance Championship could be seen as both a positive thing and a question mark in regards to his U.S. Senior Open chances.
His game is obviously in a very good place; but he will be attempting to play back-to-back tournaments for the first time in over four months. The entire tournament could be hinging on whether his back holds up.
Singh, the 54-year-old Hall of Famer from Fiji, plays sparingly on the Champions Tour, choosing to still spend most of his time on the PGA Tour, where he has a lifetime membership, but when he does play the senior circuit, he plays very well.
In just three Champions Tour events this season, Singh has a victory and a runner-up finish, the latter coming at the Senior PGA Championship. Despite just the three starts, he ranks 8th on the Champions Tour money list.
McCarron is second on the Champions Tour money list, although that amount is still just 53% of Langer’s season total. McCarron was runner-up to Langer at the Regions Tradition, the first major of the year, and followed that up with a T5 at the Senior PGA Championship.
In two years worth of Champions Tour starts (he qualified half-way through the 2015 season), he has three victories, matching his 20-year PGA Tour win total. One of those victories came in 2017, at the Allianz Championship in mid-February.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
The 53-year-old Spaniard led last year’s U.S. Senior Open through three rounds, but a 1-over 71 in the final round, dropped him into a tie for second. Jimenez has one win in each of his four Champions Tour seasons, but has not yet won a major, something he never did in his PGA Tour career either.
The Mechanic has an impressive 20 top 10s in 31 Champions Tour events, including a T7 in the Tradition and a T3 at the PGA Senior Championship. Jimenez has been tremendous off the tees in 2017, ranking in the top 10 in both driving distance and accuracy, which places him at #1 in total driving.