U.S. SENIOR OPEN
5 Things to Know: 37th U.S. Senior Open Championship, Round 1
August 11, 2016 | COLUMBUS, OHIO
By Dave Shedloski
The opening round of the 37th U.S. Senior Open Championship is off and running at Scioto Country Club. Here's what to watch for:
Rough: Scioto Country Club is intrinsically difficult with its deep bunkers and undulating push-up greens that are firm and fast throughout the year and will be even more so, weather permitting, for this week's 37th U.S. Senior Open. But ever since the 1926 U.S. Open won by Bob Jones, Scioto's signature defense has been its heavy rough, which this week is up to 4 inches high on the outer perimeters of play. As Rocco Mediate said, "If you don't drive good here, you can go home, because it's not going to work."
John Daly: Playing in his first U.S. Senior Open, the two-time major champion is one of the few players with the length to overpower the 7,129-yard, par-70 layout and handle the thick rough. But travel troubles limited Daly to eight practice holes, and he said while his ball striking is fine, his putting is a little shaky. Those fast Scioto greens might be a headache.
Colin Montgomerie: Winless this year on the PGA Tour Champions, the 2014 U.S. Senior Open champion recently straightened out a swing flaw, and should be a factor this week because he's likely to be among the leaders in fairways hit, a hallmark of his game and the primary reason he was a three-time runner-up in the U.S. Open.
Lee Janzen: The two-time U.S. Open winner, who finished fifth last year, is winless in 2016. But don't discount his chances this week after he finished fifth behind Jeff Maggert last year at Del Paso Country Club. Janzen has a chance to join a very special group of seven men who have won the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. Try this fraternity: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Hale Irwin, Billy Casper and Orville Moody.
Hole No. 8: A par 5 for the membership, Scioto's signature hole will play as a par 4 of up to 495 yards. With a pond guarding the front and left of the green, the second shot is all carry. Under the direction of Jack Nicklaus and Columbus architect Michael Hurdzan, the eighth hole was restored to something closer to its original design when a moat that was installed around the green in the 1960s was removed in 2015.
Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites.