USGA Accepts 2,729 Entries For Senior Open, Includes 13 Past Champions
June 2, 2006
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Far Hills, N.J. - The United States Golf Association has accepted 2,729 entries, including those from 13 past champions, for the 2006 U.S. Senior Open, which will be played July 6-9 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. The record for entries is 3,101, set in 2002.
Entries closed at 5 p.m. on May 31.
Philip Taormina, a professional from Lacey Township, N.J., was the first entry and Ben Maffitt, an amateur from Charlotte, N.C., was the last to file at 4:59.53 p.m. on May 31. A total of 2,088 entries, more than 76 percent, were received online.
A total of 74 golfers are currently fully exempt from having to qualify, including 2005 champion Allen Doyle, and 12 other past champions. The past Senior Open champions who have entered are: Dale Douglass (1986), Dave Eichelberger (1999), Bruce Fleisher (2001), Hale Irwin (1998 and 2000), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Larry Laoretti (1992), Bruce Lietzke (2003), Graham Marsh (1997), Arnold Palmer (1981), Gary Player (1987 and 1988), Don Pooley (2002) and Dave Stockton (1996). All previous Senior Open champions are exempt, but they must file an entry.
Players from 14 countries outside the USA filed entries.
Palmer, 76 and the oldest player in the field, will be playing in his 26th consecutive Senior Open, the most of any player, and Douglass in his 21st.
Spots in the 156-player field are also reserved for anyone, not already exempt, who wins an official PGA Champions Tour event before the start of the 2006 U.S. Senior Open.
Sectional qualifying at 42 sites will begin June 7 and run through June 19.
The Senior Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. Other championships include the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women's Open and 10 amateur competitions.
Following is a list of the 74 exempt players for the 2006 Senior Open:
Players Fully Exempt for the 2006 U.S. Senior Open as of 6/2/2006 (74)
||Greg Reynolds (a)
||Mike Rice (a)
|Alan Foster (a)
||Jack Vardaman (a)
||George Zahringer (a)
(a) = amateur
Key to Player Exemptions
1. Former winners of the U.S. Senior Open.
2. Winners of the U.S. Open in the last 10 years. (1997-2006)
3. Winners of the U.S. Amateur in the last 10 years. (1996-2005)
4. Winners of the Masters Tournament in the last 10 years (1997-2006)
5. Winners of the British Open in the last 10 years (1996-2005)
6. Winners of the PGA Championship in the last 10 years. (1996-2005)
7. Winners of the PGA Seniors Championship in the last 10 years. (1997-2006)
8 Winners of the British Senior Open Championship in the last 3 years (2003- 005).
9. The 25 lowest scorers and ties from the 2005 U.S. Senior Open.
10. From the 2006 U.S. Open, any amateur returning a 72-hole score
11. The low amateur at the 2005 U.S. Senior Open.
12. From the U.S. Amateur Public Links, U.S. Mid-Amateur and USGA Senior Amateur, the winners from the last two years and the semifinalists from the most recent championships
13. Playing members of the 2003 and 2005 USA Walker Cup teams and 2002 and 2004 USA World Amateur Teams
14. Playing members of the five most recent U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams
15. The top 30 money leaders from the 2005 Champions Tour money list.
16. The top 50 players on the Champions Tour all-time money list through May 31
17. The top 20 money leaders on the 2006 Champions Tour money list through May 31
18. Winners of Champions Tour events in the last three years (2003-2005) and the current calendar year.
19. The leading money winner from the 2005 Senior PGA European Tour Order of Merit
20. Winners of PGA Tour co-sponsored events in the last five years (2001-2005) and during the current calendar year.
21. Any player in his first five years of age eligibility for U.S. Open winners
22. Any player turning 50 in the last calendar year who has won a U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, Masters Tournament, British Open, British Amateur, or PGA Championship (one-time exemption)
23. Special exemptions as selected by the USGA Executive Committee.