USGA Accepts 2,615 Entries For 2007 U.S. Senior Open; 12 Past Champions Among 73 Fully Exempt
Far Hills, N.J. (May 25) – The United States Golf Association has accepted 2,615 entries, including those from 73 golfers who are already fully exempt into the field, for the 2007 U.S. Senior Open to be played July 5-8 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. The list includes 12 past champions.
More than 80 percent of entries were submitted online, with the first entry coming from Thomas Kelly of Ft. Wayne, Ind., less than an hour after the online application was launched. The last entry was submitted four minutes before the 5 p.m. (EDT) deadline on May 23 by Randy Bowmann of Summerville, Ga. The oldest applicant is 78-year-old Bob Harris, an amateur from Boynton Beach, Fla.
To be eligible, a player must be at least 50 years old on or before July 5 and must have at least a 3.4 Handicap Index, or be a professional.
Golfers who are already fully exempt from having to qualify include two-time defending champion Allen Doyle and 11 other past champions. Other 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), Don Pooley (2002) and Dave Stockton (1996). All previous Senior Open champions are fully exempted into the field if they file an entry.
Places in the 156-player field are also reserved for winners of official PGA Champions Tour events in the weeks remaining before the start of the 2007 U.S. Senior Open.
The remainder of the field will be filled through sectional qualifying at 42 sites from June 5-18.
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the game’s golfers and golf courses.
The Association's most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.
A list of the 73 golfers already fully exempt for the upcoming Senior Open follows:
|Mike Bell (a)
||Tom McGraw (a)
||Naomichi 'Joe' Ozaki
|Sam Farlow (a)
||1,16, 17, 18
||Randy Reifers (a)
||Mike Rice (a)
||George Zahringer (a)
|Bill Leonard (a)
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 (1998-2007).
3. Winners of the U.S. Amateur in the last 10 years (1997-2006) and semifinalists from 2006.
4. Winners of the Masters Tournament in the last 10 years (1998-2007).
5. Winners of the British Open in the last 10 years (1997-2006).
6. Winners of the PGA Championship in the last 10 years. (1997-2006).
7. Winners of the PGA Seniors Championship in the last 10 years. (1998-2007).
8. Winners of the Senior British Open Championship in the last 3 years (2004-2006).
9. The 25 lowest scorers and ties from the 2006 U.S. Senior Open.
10. From the 2007 U.S. Open, any amateur returning a 72-hole score.
11. The low amateur at the 2006 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 2004
and 2006 USA World Amateur Teams.
14. Playing members of the five most recent U.S. and European Ryder Cup and Presidents’ Cup teams.
15. The top 30 money leaders from the 2006 Champions Tour money list.
16. The top 50 players on the Champions Tour all-time money list through May 23.
17. The top 20 money leaders on the 2007 Champions Tour money list through May 23.
18. Winners of Champions Tour events in the last three years (2004-2006) and the current calendar year.
19. The leading money winner from the 2006 Senior PGA European Tour Order of Merit
20. Winners of PGA Tour co-sponsored events in the last five years (2002-2006) 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.
24. Playing members of the 2003 and 2005 USA Copa de las Americas teams.