Golf Extras
More Golf
CHAMPIONS - U.S. Senior Open Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, July 29th through Sunday, August 1st
SITE: Sahalee Country Club (South and North Courses), Sammamish, Washington
COURSE ARCHITECT: Ted Robinson (1969), Rees Jones (1996, 98 - renovation)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 6,866
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 403 Yds10 - Par 4 400 Yds
2 - Par 5 508 Yds11 - Par 5 545 Yds
3 - Par 4 415 Yds12 - Par 4 455 Yds
4 - Par 4 392 Yds13 - Par 3 170 Yds
5 - Par 3 190 Yds14 - Par 4 370 Yds
6 - Par 4 480 Yds15 - Par 4 413 Yds
7 - Par 4 420 Yds16 - Par 4 375 Yds
8 - Par 4 443 Yds17 - Par 3 212 Yds
9 - Par 3 205 Yds18 - Par 4 470 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,456 Yds35 3,410 Yds
 
Annual:  31st
Television:  ESPN2 - Thursday/Friday -- 5-9 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 4-7 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Fred Funk
Runner-Up:  Joey Sindelar
Tournament Record:  267 (Hale Irwin, 2000 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
54-Hole Record:  199 (Simon Hobday, 1994 - Pinehurst Resort & Country Club)
36-Hole Record:  133 (Dave Stockton, 1992 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
  (Simon Hobday, 1994 - Pinehurst Resort & Country Club)
  (Bruce Fleisher, 2000 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
  (Loren Roberts, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Tom Watson, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Craig Stadler, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Tim Jackson, 2009 - Crooked Stick Golf Club)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Loren Roberts, 2006 - Prairie Dunes Country Club)
9-Hole Record:  30 (Richard King, 1983 - Hazeltine National)
  (Gordon Jones, 1987 - Brooklawn Country Club)
  (Gary Player, 1990 - Ridgewood Country Club)
  (Tom Weiskopf, 1993 - Cherry Hills Country Club)
  (Ed Dougherty, 1999 - Des Moines Golf & Country Club)
  (Jim Thorpe, John Jacobs, 2000 - Saucon Valley C.C.)
  (Jim Thorpe, Jay Sigel, Tom Kite, 2001 - Salem C.C.)
  (Allen Doyle, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Andy Bean, L.Roberts, DA Weibring, 2006 - Prairie Dunes CC)
Total Purse:  $2,600,000
Shares:  1st Place - $470,000; 2nd Place - $280,000; 3rd Place - $180,000
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Fred Funk268Scott Simpson279
Joey Sindelar274Mark O'Meara279
Russ Cochran276Tom Lehman280
Loren Roberts277Robin Freeman280
Greg Norman277Olin Browne281
 
Past U.S. Senior Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Fred Funk (268) -- Joey Sindelar
(Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Indiana)
2008Eduardo Romero (274) -- Fred Funk
(The Broadmoor Resort - East Course, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
2007Brad Bryant (282) -- Ben Crenshaw
(Whistling Straits - Straits Course, Kohler, Wisconsin)
2006Allen Doyle (272) -- Tom Watson
(Prairie Dunes Country Club, Hutchinson, Kansas)
2005Allen Doyle (274) -- D.A. Weibring, Loren Roberts
(NCR Country Club - South Course, Kettering, Ohio)
2004Peter Jacobsen (272) -- Hale Irwin
(Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, Missouri)
2003Bruce Lietzke (277) -- Tom Watson
(Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio)
2002*Don Pooley (274) -- Tom Watson
(Caves Valley Golf Club, Baltimore, Maryland)
2001Bruce Fleisher (280) -- Gil Morgan, Isao Aoki
(Salem Country Club, Peabody, Massachusetts)
2000Hale Irwin (267) -- Bruce Fleisher
(Saucon Valley Country Club - Old Course, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
1999Dave Eichelberger (281) -- Ed Dougherty
(Des Moines Golf & Country Club, West Des Moines, Iowa)
1998Hale Irwin (285) -- Vicente Fernandez
(Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California)
1997Graham Marsh (280) -- John Bland
(Olympia Fields C.C. - North Course, Olympia Fields, Illinois)
1996Dave Stockton (277) -- Hale Irwin
(Canterbury Golf Club, Beachwood, Ohio)
1995Tom Weiskopf (275) -- Jack Nicklaus
(Congressional Country Club - Blue Course, Bethesda, Maryland)
1994Simon Hobday (274) -- Graham Marsh, Jim Albus
(Pinehurst Country Club - No. 2, Pinehurst, North Carolina)
1993Jack Nicklaus (278) -- Tom Weiskopf
(Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Colorado)
1992Larry Laoretti (275) -- Jim Colbert
(Saucon Valley Country Club - Old Course, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
1991*Jack Nicklaus (282) -- Chi Chi Rodriguez
(Oakland Hills Country Club - South Course, Birmingham, Michigan)
1990Lee Trevino (275) -- Jack Nicklaus
(Ridgewood Country Club (Center and West Nines, Paramus, New Jersey)
1989Orville Moody (279) -- Frank Beard
(Laurel Valley Country Club, Ligonier, Pennsylvania)
1988*Gary Player (270) -- Bob Charles
(Medinah Country Club (Number Three, Medinah, Illinois)
1987Gary Player (270) -- Doug Sanders
(Brooklawn Country Club, Fairfield, Connecticut)
1986Dale Douglass (279) -- Gary Player
(Scioto Country Club, Columbus, Ohio)
1985Miller Barber (285) -- Roberto DeVicenzo
(Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club, Stateline, Nevada)
1984Miller Barber (286) -- Arnold Palmer
(Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, New York)
1983*Billy Casper (288) -- Rod Funseth
(Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota)
1982Miller Barber (282) -- Gene Littler, Dan Sikes
(Portland Golf Club, Portland, Oregon)
1981*Arnold Palmer (289) -- Billy Casper, Bob Stone
(Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course), Birmingham, Michigan)
1980Roberto De Vicenzo (285) -- William C. Campbell
(Winged Foot Golf Club (East Course), Mamaroneck, New York)

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Player200200200200200200200200200200
Fred Funk------------------T-1---2ndWon
Joey Sindelar------------------------T-62nd
Russ Cochran---------------------------3rd
Loren Roberts---------------T-2T-83rdT-1T-4
Scott Simpson------------------T-5T-3T-2T-6
Mark O'Meara---------------------T-1mcT-6
Tom Lehman---------------------------T-8
Robin Freeman---------------------------T-8
Olin Browne---------------------------10t
Brad Bryant---------------mcT-1WonT-1T-1
Jay Haas------------T-3T-2T-8T-5T-9T-1
Andy Bean------------T-2mcT-5mcT-1T-1
Jeff Sluman------------------------T-1T-1
Eduardo Romero---------------------T-2WonT-1
John Cook------------------------5thT-1
Bernhard Langer------------------------T-6T-2
Joe Ozaki------------------mcT-5T-3T-2
Mark Wiebe------------------------mcT-2
Bob Tway---------------------------T-2
Gil MorganT-1T-2T-1T-1T-1T-1T-4T-3T-2T-2
Hale IrwinWonT-1T-1---2nd25tT-3mcT-4T-3
Tom JenkinsT-1T-2T-3T-1T-3T-1T-4mcT-5T-3
R.W. Eaks------T-3T-1mcT-2T-2T-5T-1T-3
Craig Stadler---------T-1T-7T-7T-1T-1mcT-3
Keith Fergus---------------------T-2T-1T-4
Tom WatsonT-1T-12nd2ndT-2T-52nd4thT-2T-4
Bob Gilder---T-110tT-45thT-17thT-157tT-4
Don Pooley------WonT-4T-1T-2T-5---T-1T-4
Bobby Wadkins------T-1T-3mcwdmcT-2T-3T-4
Bruce Fleisher2ndWonmcT-4T-1T-4mcT-4dqT-4
Denis Watson---------------------T-5T-5T-5
Tom Kite3rd15t3rdT-1T-3T-3T-5T-2T-1mc
Gary Hallberg------------------------T-1mc
Fuzzy Zoeller------T-4T-4T-7mcT-2T-4T-4mc
Ben Crenshaw------mcmcmcT-5T-12ndmcmc
Vicente FernandezT-1mcT-23rdmcT-3T-3T-1mcmc
Peter Jacobsen------------WonT-2T-3T-3mcmc
Allen DoyleT-8T-4T-7T-4T-4WonWonmcmcmc
Dave EichelbergerT-3T-4T-4mcT-3mcT-5mcmcmc
Dale DouglassT-4mcT-4mcmcT-3mcmcmcmc
Tom Purtzer------T-5mcT-2T-4mcT-5T-1wd
Morris Hatalsky------T-5T-118tT-3T-1mcT-1---
D.A. Weibring------------6thT-2T-8T-5T-3---
Graham MarshT-1T-430tT-2T-2mcT-2mc------
Fred Couples------------------------------
Corey Pavin------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tom Lehman
Darkhorse - Fred Funk
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dan Forsman) - Finished tied for 18th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Fred Funk) - Finished tied for 3rd
 
NOTES:
The third major of the Champions Tour season, the U.S. Senior Open Championship takes center stage this week, as Fred Funk defends his title in the 31st installment of this storied event. A stellar field is scheduled to battle the beautiful Sahalee Country Club in Washington, as 37 of the top-40 on the money list are expected to compete.

Tom Lehman captured the first major of the year, the Senior PGA Championship, and Bernhard Langer won last week at the Senior British Open.

Sahalee Country Club played host to the 1998 PGA Championship won by Vijay Singh and the 2002 WGC - NEC Invitational captured by Craig Parry. Funk might have the upperhand this week, as he tied for second in 2002 with four consecutive rounds of 68.

This will be the 22nd USGA championship to be conducted in the state of Washington. It last welcomed the 2007 U.S. Girls' Junior at Tacoma Country & Golf Club in Lakewood. The 2010 U.S. Amateur will be staged at Chambers Bay in University Place at the end of August.

Last year, Funk blitzed the field, defeating Joey Sindelar by six strokes en route to a record-setting performance. His total of 20-under-par 268 was the lowest total in relation to par in the history of the championship. Funk, the only player in the field to post four rounds in the 60s, closed with a 65 for his first USGA title, in his third Senior Open appearance. Amateur Tim Jackson made plenty of headlines earlier in the week, as he opened with rounds of 66-67 to take the lead, however he faded to tie for 11th with weekend rounds of 73-76.

Not only did Funk dominate the field, but he mastered the Crooked Stick Golf Club, making 24 birdies, hitting 47 of 56 fairways and finishing second in greens in regulation (55-of-72). With a one-shot lead heading into the final round over Greg Norman and Sindelar, Funk steadily pulled away as he posted a bogey-free round. Crooked Stick played to 7,316 yards, making it the longest course in Senior Open history.

In 2008, Eduardo Romero, playing in just his second Senior Open, defeated Funk by four shots to become just the second Argentine winner of the championship, joining Robert De Vicenzo (1980). Playing on now the second longest course in championship history (7,254 yards) on the Broadmoor Resort's East Course, Romero shot rounds of 67-69-65-73. Leading by two heading into the final round, Romero increased his lead to three by the time the duo reached the 11th hole. Despite four straight bogeys, Romero's lead swelled to four, as Funk struggled, including a devastating triple-bogey on 13. Romero parred his final four holes for the win. Romero led the field in birdies (17) for the week and in greens in regulation (55 of 72). Mark McNulty, who finished third, was the only player in the field without a three-putt.

Brad Bryant fired a four-under 68 in the final round in 2007 to win the U.S. Senior Open, as third-round leader Tom Watson collapsed on the back nine. Bryant collected his first major championship win, as he finished at six-under-par 282. Bryant, who trailed by five strokes at the beginning of the final round, notched the second biggest final-round comeback in U.S. Senior Open history. Allen Doyle closed with an eight-under 63 in 2005 to overtake D.A. Weibring and Loren Roberts for a one-stroke win. Watson got to nine-under with a birdie on the par-four 10th, but dropped six strokes over the next five holes. Watson posted a seven-over 43 on the back nine en route to a six-over 78 at Whistling Straits that left him alone in fourth at one-under-par 287.

Doyle shot four rounds in the 60s back in 2006, including a 68 in the final round to come from three shots back to successfully defend his title at the U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Kansas. Doyle edged hometown favorite Tom Watson by two shots for his 11th Champions Tour title and fourth major championship, finishing at eight-under-par 272 to become the third repeat champion in tournament history, joining Gary Player (1987-88) and Miller Barber (1984-85). Doyle also became the oldest winner in tournament history at 57 years, 11 months and 17 days. Roberto DeVicenzo previously held the record at 57 years, two months and 15 days.

In 2004, Peter Jacobsen posted a three-under 68 in the final round to win his first career major, and his first Champions Tour event, at the U.S. Senior Open. Jacobsen finished the event at 12-under-par 272, one shot clear of Hale Irwin. Jacobsen became a major champion in only his third start on the elder circuit and just three months after undergoing hip surgery. Jacobsen became the seventh player to win the Senior Open on his first try. Other players to accomplish the feat are: DeVicenzo (1980), Arnold Palmer (1981), Dale Douglass (1986), Lee Trevino (1990), Larry Laoretti (1992) and Don Pooley (2002).

Douglass will be the oldest player in the field at the age of 74 and will tie Palmer for the most appearances at the U.S. Senior Open with his 25th consecutive start. Douglass has made the cut 14 times with three top-five finishes.

The 2002 Senior Open produced one of the most exciting tournaments in event history, as Pooley outlasted Watson in a playoff to capture his first over-50 title. Pooley became the first Senior Open champion to make the field and win after going through sectional qualifying.

When Bruce Fleisher captured the 2001 title, he joined Palmer and Nicklaus as the only players in history to win the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Amateur. Fleisher's 33 years between USGA championships betters a record previously held by Marlene Streit of 29 years.

In his 14 appearances at the Senior Open, Irwin has two wins, two seconds, a third, two fifths and has finished outside the top 25 only four times. Irwin finished tied for 32nd in 2006 and 2009, missed the cut in 2007, and tied for 40th in 2008. Not surprisingly, Irwin is the all-time leading money winner at this event with $1,406,030 in earnings. Doyle is second with $1,326,767.

There are seven players who have won both the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Open: Orville Moody, Player, Billy Casper, Palmer, Nicklaus, Trevino and Irwin.

Since 1990, player(s) leading or co-leading the U.S. Senior Open after the third round have gone on to win the championship 10 times, including each of the last two years. Doyle's comeback from nine strokes in 2005 is the best come-from-behind win in U.S. Senior Open championship history. It is also the second-greatest comeback in any major championship. Paul Lawrie came from 10 strokes back to claim the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie.

The championship is played at stroke play over 72 holes. There are 156 players in the championship field, comprised of those advancing from sectional qualifying, and those exempt from sectional qualifying. After 36 holes, the field is cut to the 60 lowest scores and ties and anyone within 10 strokes of the leader. If a playoff is needed, the U.S. Senior Open will use a multiple- hole, aggregate score format. If the playoff results in a tie, play will continue hole-by-hole until a champion is determined. There have only been five playoffs in U.S. Senior Open history.

Player, Tom Weiskopf, Doyle and now Funk are the only players to post four consecutive rounds in the 60s and win -- Player in 1987, Weiskopf in 1995, Doyle in 2006 and Funk last year.

Miller Barber has won more U.S. Senior Open titles than any other player (three). Barber was victorious at the Portland (OR) Golf Club in 1982, Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY in 1984 and at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club in Stateline, NV in 1985.

Foreign-born players have captured the U.S. Senior Open a total of six times. Player, a South African, was a two-time winner (1987-88), while Argentina's DeVicenzo (1980) and Romero (2008), South Africa's Simon Hobday (1994) and Australia's Graham Marsh (1997) each won it once.

The first U.S. Senior Open in 1980 was originally for golfers 55 and older. The age minimum was lowered to 50 in 1981, and Champions Tour "rookie" Palmer won the event at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan.

This is the 31st U.S. Senior Open Championship. A total of 24 players have won the first 30 championships. Twenty-eight clubs have hosted the championship with Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham Hills, Mich., and Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., having served twice as a Senior Open site. In 2009, the USGA accepted 2,794 entries. The record was 3,101 in 2002. The Senior Open is open to any professional or amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 who turns 50 on or before July 29, 2010. Entries closed on June 9.

Only two players have won the U.S. Senior Open after also claiming the Champions Tour event the week before. Marsh was the first to do it when he claimed the 1997 Nationwide Championship and then won the Senior Open at Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago. In 1998, Irwin won the Ameritech Senior Open and then claimed the Senior Open near Los Angeles at Riviera Country Club.

The Champions Tour moves to Minnesota next week for the 3M Championship, where Langer is the defending champion.

07/26 15:57:20 ET

As of July 26, 2010, at 03:57 PM ET

Champions Tour News
· Cook hangs on to win First Tee Open

· Cook takes over lead at First Tee Open

· McCallister leads by 1 at First Tee Open

More News