Entries are now closed and the field is coming into focus for the 37th U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for Aug. 11-14, 2016, at Scioto Country Club, in Columbus, Ohio. Twelve champions are among the 82 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship. The USGA accepted 2,791 entries for the 37th U.S. Senior Open from golfers in 46 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 28 foreign countries. The record for entries was established in 2002, when 3,101 golfers applied to play.
“The U.S. Senior Open is senior golf’s most coveted championship and the highest number of entries since 2009 is evidence of the interest,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “The USGA is excited to bring the U.S. Senior Open to Scioto Country Club and central Ohio for the first time since 1986 and we look forward to awarding the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy to the champion in August.”
The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Sectional qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 34 sites across the United States between June 14 and July 11. There are qualifying sites in 25 states, including five in California and three in Florida. In addition, places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events in the weeks remaining before the 2016 U.S. Senior Open.
This will be the fifth U.S. Senior Open in Ohio and the second at Scioto. In 1986, Dale Douglass led after every round in defeating Gary Player by one stroke to become the youngest Senior Open champion (50 years, 3 months, 24 days).
Scioto, which is celebrating its centennial, hosted the 1926 U.S. Open, won by Bob Jones, and is the club where 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus learned the game under the tutelage of longtime club professional Jack Grout. It also hosted the 1968 U.S. Amateur, won by Bruce Fleisher.
Jeff Maggert, the 2015 champion, and 11 other Senior Open champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Olin Browne (2011), Brad Bryant (2007), Roger Chapman (2012), Dave Eichelberger (1999), Bruce Fleisher (2001), Fred Funk (2009), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000), Bernhard Langer (2010), Colin Montgomerie (2014), Kenny Perry (2013) and Eduardo Romero (2008).
There are six U.S. Open champions among the 82 exempt players. They are: three-time champion Hale Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990), two-time champion Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), Tom Kite (1992), Larry Nelson (1983), Scott Simpson (1987) and Tom Watson (1982).
For the sixth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted, beginning on March 9. David Speicher, a 55-year-old amateur from Mascoutah, Ill., submitted his entry 49 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on June 8. Robert Palmer, a 50-year-old amateur from The Woodlands, Texas, was the first entrant.
A variety of U.S. Senior Open tickets are available for purchase by clicking here.
The 82 golfers who are fully exempt into the 37th U.S. Senior Open (as of June 8):
Bold - U.S. Senior Open champion
a - amateur