Twelve past champions scheduled to compete at Salem Country Club
(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – The United States Golf Association has accepted 2,680 entries for the 38th U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for June 29-July 2, 2017 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass. Twelve past champions are among the 83 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.
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.
The USGA accepted entries from golfers in 48 states, including 81 from Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, as well as 25 foreign countries. The record for entries was established in 2002, when 3,101 golfers applied to play.
This will be the third U.S. Senior Open in New England and the second at Salem Country Club. Bruce Fleisher won at Salem in 2001, defeating Isao Aoki and Gil Morgan by one stroke. Fleisher, the runner-up in the previous year’s U.S. Senior Open to Hale Irwin, shot a 2-under 68 in the final round. In 1987, Gary Player won by six strokes over Doug Sanders at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn.
Salem Country Club is hosting its sixth USGA championship. Two of the greatest players in golf history have earned the U.S. Women’s Open title at the club. Babe Didrikson Zaharias claimed her third Women’s Open in 1954 while Hollis Stacy also won her third in 1984. Salem also hosted the 1932 U.S. Women’s Amateur (won by Virginia Van Wie) and 1977 U.S. Senior Amateur (won by Dale Morey).
Gene Sauers, the defending 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), Allen Doyle (2005, 2006), Dave Eichelberger (1999), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Bernhard Langer (2010), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014), and Kenny Perry (2013).
There are five U.S. Open champions among the 83 exempt players. They are: three-time champion Hale Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990), two-time champion Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), Tom Kite (1992), Corey Pavin (1995) and Tom Watson (1982). There are also nine U.S. Open runners-up entered. They are: Nick Faldo (1988), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000), Tom Lehman (1996), Rocco Mediate (2008), Colin Montgomerie (1994, 1997, 2006), Loren Roberts (1994), Jeff Sluman (1992), Watson (1983, 1987) and Ian Woosnam (1989).
For the seventh consecutive year, only online entries were accepted, beginning on March 8. Andy Santor, a 52-year-old professional from Youngstown, Ohio, submitted his entry two minutes and 17 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 10. Doug Clapp, a 49-year-old amateur (will turn 50 on May 28) from Walpole, Mass., was the first entrant.
More information about the U.S. Senior Open before, during and after the 2017 championship at Salem Country Club can be found at www.usga.org.