Pro Golf Weekly

Primer: 2018 U.S. Senior Open

The reputation of the USGA took another major hit two weeks ago, when several holes at Shinnecock Hills became nearly unplayable late in Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Open, resulting in another embarrassing episode for the blue blazer crew.

Credit: Getty Images/Gregory Shamus

The first attempt for Mike Davis and company to restore their reputation will come this week, when a field of the world’s best over-50 golfers take on The Broadmoor, a Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones-designed classic in Colorado Springs.

The field in Colorado will be headlined by 60-year-old superstar Bernhard Langer, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open champion, who’s won a record 10 Champions Tour majors, including three last season.

While Langer will draw much of the attention, he is far from the only senior golfer that will draw the crowds this week. Schwab Cup leader Jerry Kelly is in the field and is in top form. There’s also defending champion Kenny Perry, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie, and David Toms, among others.


THE SKINNY

Tournament: U.S. Senior Open
Dates: June 28 – July 1, 2018
Where: Colorado Springs, CO
Title Sponsor: USGA
Course: The Broadmoor (East)
Distance: Par 70, 7,265 yards
Architect: Donald Ross (1918)/Robert Trent Jones (1952)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Purse: $4,000,000
Winning Share: $720,000
Defending Champion: Kenny Perry
Marquee Players: : Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Scott McCarron, Jerry Kelly, Steve Stricker, Colin Montgomerie


TV AND ONLINE

Round 1: Thu 2:00-7:00 pm (FS1)
Round 2: Fri 1:30-6:30 pm (FS1)
Round 3: Sat 2:00-7:00 pm (FS1)
Round 4: Sun 2:00-7:00 pm (FS1)
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HISTORY

The U.S. Open is one of its longest-running golf events, first teeing off in 1895. The Senior version of the USGA’s marquee event, however, did not exist until the U.S. Open had been played some 85 years.

Credit: Getty Images/Drew Hallowell

That inaugural 1980 version of the Senior U.S. Open had a cut-off of 55 years old, and was won by the legendary Argentinian Roberto De Vicenzo at Winged Foot Golf Club. (As an aside, De Vicenzo is also a three-time winner of the French Open, which is also being contested this week.)

The very next year, the tournament age limit was lowered to 50, the cutoff age for Champions Tour membership, where it has been every year since. That 1981 tournament was especially difficult, with Arnold Palmer winning in spite finishing at 9-over par.

It got progressively easier (although it is still the toughest test in senior golf) over the years, and added winners such as Billy Casper, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, and Bernhard Langer.

Miller Barber, a 24-time Champions Tour winner, holds the tournament record with three victories, while Player, Nicklaus, Irwin, and Allen Doyle added two apiece.

The host venue this year is The Broadmoor (East Course) which is celebrating its 100th year anniversary. It last hosted a U.S. Senior Open in 2008 when Eduardo Romero became the second Argentinean to win the Senior Open, joining the aforementioned De Vicenzo, the tournament’s inaugural champion.

HISTORY: RECENT WINNERS

2017: Kenny Perry (-16)
2016: Gene Sauers (-3)
2015: Jeff Maggert (-10)
2014: Colin Montgomerie (-5)
2013: Kenny Perry (-13)
2012: Roger Chapman (-10)
2011: Olin Browne (-15)

HISTORY: TOURNAMENT RECORDS

WINS
3 – Miller Barber (1982, 1984, 1985)
2 – Gary Player (1987, 1988)
2 – Jack Nicklaus (1991, 1993)
2 – Hale Irwin (1998, 2000)
2 – Allen Doyle (2005, 2006)
2 – Kenny Perry (2013, 2017)

SCORING
264 – Kenny Perry (2017, Salem CC, Peabody, MA)
-17 – Hale Irwin (2000, Saucon Valley CC, Bethlehem, PA)


DEFENDING CHAMPION

PEABODY, MA – Kenny Perry fired a 2-under 68 on Sunday at Salem Country Club to capture his second U.S. Senior Open Championship.

Credit: Getty Images/Richard T. Gagnon

Perry, who started the day one back of leader Kirk Triplett, played a bogey-free final round, with two birdies and 16 pars, to finish at 16-under par.

The 56-year-old Perry made one of his two birdies on the very first hole to tie Triplett at 15-under. And after a bogey by Triplett on the 150-yard par-3 third hole, Perry took sole possession of the lead, and never looked back.

Perry’s second and final birdie, on the par-5 sixth hole, gave the Kentucky native a two shot lead.

At the turn, Perry’s lead ballooned to four, after back-to-back bogeys by Triplett on 8 and 9. But Triplett righted the ship with birdies on 14 and 16 to put some pressure on Perry down the stretch.

“But it was still nervy all the way to the end because when I putted my first putt on 18 up there, I still had a 3-footer down the hill slicing,” said Perry, who now owns four senior major titles. “I knew, if he made his putt, I was going to have to make that putt to win. So I was thinking, boy, oh, boy, this could get interesting.”

Triplett finished his final round at 1-over 73, and 14-under for the tournament.

Brandt Jobe followed up his record-tying 62 on Saturday with an even-par 70 to finish solo-third, seven strokes back, at 9-under. Fred Couples and Tom Lehman finished with matching 69s to tie for fourth at 8-under.

Perry’s 16-under 264 total set a U.S. Senior Open record. The win earned Perry $720,000.

FINAL TOP 5

1. Kenny Perry -16
2. Kirk Triplett -14
3. Brandt Jobe -9
4. Tom Lehman -8
4. Fred Couples -8


THE FIELD

Credit: Getty Images/Richard T Gagnon

THE FIELD: MARQUEE PAIRINGS

HOLE 1
1:12 pm Davis Love III, Vijay Singh, David Toms
1:22 pm Tom Pernice Jr., Scott McCarron, Colin Montgomerie
1:43 pm Corey Pavin, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin

HOLE 10
7:42 am Bernhard Langer, Sean Knapp (a), Kenny Perry
8:03 am Paul Broadhurst, Tom Lehman, Fred Couples
1:12 pm Gene Sauers, Olin Browne, Jeff Maggert
1:22 pm Mark Calcavecchia, Todd Hamilton, Mark O’Meara

THE FIELD: BY THE NUMBERS

FOUR (4) U.S. OPEN WINNERS

  • Hale Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990)
  • Lee Janzen (1993, 1998)
  • Tom Kite (1992)
  • Corey Pavin (1995)

EIGHT (8) HALL OF FAME MEMBERS

  • Davis Love III
  • Mark O’Meara
  • Colin Montgomerie
  • Fred Couples
  • Tom Kite
  • Hale Irwin
  • Doug Ford
  • Vijay Singh

TEN (10) U.S. SENIOR OPEN WINNERS

  • Kenny Perry (2013, 2017)
  • Gene Sauers (2016)
  • Jeff Maggert (2015)
  • Colin Montgomerie (2014)
  • Olin Browne (2011)
  • Bernhard Langer (2010)
  • Fred Funk (2009)
  • Brad Bryant (2007)
  • Peter Jacobsen (2004)
  • Hale Irwin (1998, 2000)
  • Corey Pavin (1995)
  • Tom Kite (1992)

ELEVEN (11) WINNERS IN 2018

  • Jerry Kelly (Mitsubishi Championship)
  • Mark Calcavecchia (Boca Raton Championship)
  • Joe Durant (Chubb Classic)
  • Vijay Singh (Toshiba Classic)
  • Steve Flesch (Mitsubishi Classic)
  • Kirk Triplett (Bass Pro Shops)
  • Paul Broadhurst (Bass Pro Shops, Senior PGA)
  • Bernhard Langer (Insperity Invitational)
  • Miguel Angel Jimenez (Regions Tradition)
  • Tom Lehman (Principal Charity Classic)
  • Scott McCarron (AmFam Championship)

FIFTEEN (15) WHO PLAYED AT BROADMOOR IN 2008

  • Fred Funk (2nd)
  • John Cook (5th)
  • Bernhard Langer (T6)
  • Joey Sindelar (T6)
  • Jay Haas (T9)
  • Scott Hoch (T9)
  • Tom Kite (T12)
  • Brad Bryant (T14)
  • Jeff Sluman (T18)
  • Hale Irwin (T40)
  • Bob Gilder (57th)
  • Peter Jacobsen (MC)
  • Mark O’Meara (MC)
  • Matt Seitz (MC)
  • Paul Simson(MC)

THE FIELD: TOP 20 FAVORITES

1. Bernhard Langer – 7-1
2. Jerry Kelly – 8-1
2. Fred Couples – 8-1
4. Miguel Angel Jimenez – 12-1
4. Scott McCarron – 12-1
6. Colin Montgomerie – 18-1
7. Joe Durant – 22-1
8. Kevin Sutherland – 25-1
8. Vijay Singh – 25-1
10. Bob Estes – 28-1
10. David Toms – 28-1
12. Kenny Perry – 40-1
12. Paul Broadhurst – 40-1
12. Scott Parel – 40-1
12. Tim Petrovic – 40-1
12. Tom Lehman – 40-1
17. Gene Sauers – 45-1
18. Brandt Jobe – 50-1
18. Davis Love III – 50-1
18. Glen Day – 50-1
18. Kent Jones – 50-1
18. Kirk Triplett – 50-1

THE FIELD: TEE TIMES

Joel Cook

Joel Cook is Pro Golf Weekly's Lead Writer. He is a member of the Golf Writer's Association of America.

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