U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Championship Heads to Omaha in 2021, Saucon Valley in 2022 June 26, 2017 | FAR HILLS, N.J. By USGA

Hills, trees and perfectly placed bunkers characterize Omaha Country Club, which will become a two-time U.S. Senior Open venue. (USGA/Kirk H. Owens)

The U.S. Senior Open will return to two of the most distinguished venues in championship history in the coming years, as Omaha (Neb.) Country Club and Saucon Valley Country Club, in Bethlehem, Pa., were named as the host sites for the 2021 and 2022 U.S. Senior Opens. The 2021 Senior Open, to be contested July 8-11, will be the second Senior Open and second USGA championship held at Omaha Country Club. Saucon Valley Country Club will host its third Senior Open and eighth USGA championship from June 23-26, 2022.

“The USGA is pleased to return to both Omaha Country Club and Saucon Valley Country Club to conduct the most prestigious championship in senior golf,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “Both regions and communities have enthusiastically supported the U.S. Senior Open in the past and fans have attended in great numbers to watch an international field compete for the Francis D. Ouimet Trophy.”

At Omaha Country Club in 2013, Kenny Perry won the U.S. Senior Open by carding a 7-under-par 63 over the final 18 holes, one stroke off the championship record. Perry’s 72-hole score of 13-under 267, which matched Hale Irwin for the lowest score in U.S. Senior Open history, was five strokes ahead of runner-up Fred Funk (272). Corey Pavin and Rocco Mediate tied for third at 7-under 273.

“Omaha Country Club is honored to be the host club for the 2021 U.S. Senior Open Championship,” said Patrick Duffy, co-chairman. “The entire community embraced the championship in 2013 and is excited to have the USGA return to Nebraska for this global event. This weeklong championship, featuring the world’s best senior players, will again provide significant economic impact to the local community.”

The dramatic finishing hole on the Old Course at Saucon Valley Country Club, which has hosted seven previous USGA championships. (USGA/Russell Kirk)

Saucon Valley will become the first course to host three U.S. Senior Opens, having been the site of the championship in 1992 and 2000. Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course), in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Inverness Club, in Toledo, Ohio; and Scioto Country Club, in Columbus, Ohio; each held the championship twice. Salem Country Club (2001, 2017), The Broadmoor (2008, 2018) and Omaha Country Club (2013, 2021) will join that group.

“On behalf of our board of governors and the entire membership of Saucon Valley Country Club, it is an honor to serve as the host club for the 2022 U.S. Senior Open Championship,” said David B. Kennedy, club president. “We are excited that 2022 will also mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of our Old Course. This championship will provide a positive economic impact to our greater Lehigh Valley community.”

Photos: Championship Legacy at Omaha and Saucon Valley

Omaha Country Club was designed in 1925 on 190 acres of farmland and forested countryside. Perry Maxwell, a founding member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, was commissioned to redesign the course in 1951. Keith Foster directed major renovations and enhancements to the course in 2005.

In 2013, Perry became the third player to win the U.S. Senior Open and Senior Players Championship in the same year, joining Gary Player (1987) and Orville Moody (1989). The champion’s 127 total over the final two rounds shattered the U.S. Senior Open record by three strokes and his 10-stroke comeback over the final 36 holes is the greatest in championship history.

Perry started the day two strokes behind 54-hole leader Michael Allen, who shot a 2-over 72 to finish fifth at 274. Perry raced by the field with a 5-under 30 on the outward nine, including a string of five birdies in six holes.

Omaha Country Club has hosted the Nebraska State Amateur on 16 occasions, most recently in 2016. Johnny Goodman, an Omaha native and the last amateur to win the U.S. Open, in 1933, won the second of his three consecutive Nebraska State Amateurs at the club in 1930.

This will be the fourth USGA championship held in Nebraska and the seventh in the Central Plains. In 1941, Marvin (Bud) Ward defeated Pat Abbott, 4 and 3, to win the U.S. Amateur Championship at the Field Club of Omaha. In 1996 at Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln, Kelli Kuehne won her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur title with a 2-and-1 decision over Marisa Baena.

Saucon Valley Country Club’s Old Course was designed by Herbert Strong and opened in 1922. Revisions were completed by William Gordon, Perry Maxwell and most recently Tom Marzolf from the Fazio Group in 2008. Saucon Valley’s historic 850-acre facility also features the Weyhill Course, Grace Course and a six-hole course for juniors and novice golfers. The club is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.   

In the 1992 U.S. Senior Open, Larry Laoretti finished with rounds of 67 and 68 at Saucon Valley to post a four-stroke victory over Jim Colbert. Laoretti, who spent most of his career as a club professional, shot a 72-hole score of 9-under 275. He started the final round with 11 consecutive pars and capped his win by holing a 20-footer from the fringe on the par-4 18th.

Irwin won his second U.S. Senior Open and fifth USGA championship in record-setting style at Saucon Valley in 2000. Irwin established the 72-hole record of 17-under-par 267 – since matched only by Perry in 2013 – to defeat Bruce Fleisher by three strokes. Irwin posted a 65-65 finish by making 15 of his championship-best 23 birdies over the final 36 holes.

The 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur was the most recent USGA championship held at the club. Scott Harvey defeated fellow stroke-play medalist Brad Nurski, 6 and 5, in the 36-hole final. In 2009, Eun-Hee Ji sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Women’s Open, edging Candie Kung by one stroke.

Saucon Valley has been the site of three other USGA championships. Billy Maxwell defeated Joseph F. Gagliardi, 4 and 3, to win the 1951 U.S. Amateur Championship. The club also hosted the 1983 U.S. Junior Amateur (won by Tim Straub) and the 1987 U.S. Senior Amateur (won by John Richardson).

Additionally, the club hosted the 2008 and 2013 Pennsylvania State Amateur, conducted by the Pennsylvania Golf Association, and several Golf Association of Philadelphia championships, including the 1977 Philadelphia Open and 2010 Philadelphia Amateur.

The 2022 U.S. Senior Open will be the 89th USGA championship held in Pennsylvania. In 2020, Philadelphia (Pa.) Cricket Club will host the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

The U.S. Senior Open was first played in 1980. The championship for golfers age 50 and older is open to any professional and any amateur with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4. This year’s Senior Open will be played at Salem Country Club, in Peabody, Mass., from June 29-July 2.

The 2018 championship is scheduled for June 28-July 1 at The Broadmoor Golf Club (East Course), in Colorado Springs, Colo. In 2019, Warren Golf Course on the campus on the University of Notre Dame, in Notre Dame, Ind., will host from June 27-30. Newport (R.I.) Country Club will be the host site for the 2020 Senior Open, from June 25-28.