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

DATES: Thursday, July 12th through Sunday, July 15th
SITE: Indianwood Golf & Country Club (Old Course), Lake Orion, Michigan
COURSE ARCHITECT: Wilfrid Reid and William Connellan (1925),
         Kevin Aldridge (2011)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 6,862
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 508 Yds10 - Par 4 358 Yds
2 - Par 4 399 Yds11 - Par 4 390 Yds
3 - Par 3 160 Yds12 - Par 4 489 Yds
4 - Par 4 430 Yds13 - Par 3 217 Yds
5 - Par 3 205 Yds14 - Par 4 428 Yds
6 - Par 4 448 Yds15 - Par 5 543 Yds
7 - Par 4 415 Yds16 - Par 4 451 Yds
8 - Par 4 404 Yds17 - Par 3 197 Yds
9 - Par 4 360 Yds18 - Par 4 460 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,329 Yds35 3,533 Yds
 
Annual:  33rd
Television:  ESPN2 - Thursday/Friday -- 3-7 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Olin Browne
Runner-Up:  Mark O'Meara
Tournament Record:  267 (Hale Irwin, 2000 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Olin Browne, 2011 - Inverness 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)
  (Olin Browne, 2011 - Inverness Club)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Loren Roberts, 2006 - Prairie Dunes Country Club)
9-Hole Record:  29 (Olin Browne, 2011 - Inverness Club)
Total Purse:  $2,600,000 (2011 figures)
Shares:  1st Place - $500,000; 2nd Place - $295,000; 3rd Place - $185,675
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Olin Browne269Peter Senior275
Mark O'Meara272Corey Pavin276
Mark Calcavecchia273Michael Allen276
Joey Sindelar274Four players at277
Hale Irwin274
 
Past U.S. Senior Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Olin Browne (269) -- Mark O'Meara
(Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio)
2010Bernhard Langer (272) -- Fred Couples
(Sahalee Country Club (South, North Courses), Sammamish, Washington)
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
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Olin Browne---------------------10thT-3Won
Mark O'Meara---------------T-11mcT-6mc2nd
Mark Calcavecchia------------------------T-243rd
Joey Sindelar------------------T-62ndT-18T-4
Hale IrwinT-11---2nd25thT-32mcT-40T-32mcT-4
Peter Senior------------------------T-66th
Michael Allen------------------------T-6T-7
Corey Pavin------------------------T-20T-7
Bernhard Langer------------------T-6T-22WonT-9
John Huston---------------------------T-9
Jay Haas------T-3T-22T-8T-5T-9T-13T-20T-13
Scott Simpson------------T-5T-33T-23T-6T-12T-15
Dan Forsman---------------------13thT-12T-17
Loren Roberts---------T-2T-83rdT-12T-4T-20T-17
Jeff Sluman------------------T-18T-16T-24T-17
Russ Cochran---------------------3rdT-28T-17
Brad Bryant---------mcT-14WonT-14T-11mcT-17
Tom Lehman---------------------T-8T-12T-23
Mark Wiebe------------------mcT-22T-18T-23
Steve Lowery---------------------------T-23
Larry Mize---------------------16thT-8T-29
Tom Kite3rdT-12T-3T-37T-55T-22T-12mcT-8T-29
Hal Sutton---------------------T-49T-38T-29
Steve Jones---------------------------T-29
Bob Tway---------------------T-22T-32T-42
Gary Hallberg------------------T-14mcT-40T-42
Tom JenkinsT-31T-10T-32T-14T-47mcT-54T-32mcT-42
Fred Funk------------T-11---2ndWonT-43T-50
Tommy Armour III------------------------11th54th
Bob Gilder10thT-435thT-127thT-1857thT-43T-40T-55
Keith Fergus---------------T-29T-14T-43T-2457th
John Cook------------------5thT-19T-3mc
Eduardo Romero---------------T-22WonT-19T-28mc
Graham Marsh30thT-28T-25mcT-26mc------T-63mc
Peter Jacobsen------WonT-26T-3T-33mcmcwdmc
David Frost------------------------62nddq
Fred Couples------------------------2nd---
Tom Watson2nd2ndT-25T-52nd4thT-23T-435th---
Allen DoyleT-7T-4T-42WonWonmcmcmcT-38---
Craig Stadler---T-10T-7T-7T-14T-16mcT-36T-48---
Gil MorganT-11T-12T-12T-18T-41T-33T-23T-28T-53---
Joe Daley------------------------------
Kenny Perry------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tom Lehman
Darkhorse - Brad Bryant
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Mark Calcavecchia) - Tied for 24th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Olin Browne) - Tied for 54th
 
NOTES:
The fourth major of the Champions Tour season, the U.S. Senior Open Championship takes center stage this week, as Olin Browne defends his title in the 33rd installment of this storied event. A stellar field is scheduled to battle the difficult Indianwood Golf & Country Club layout, as the top 18 players on the money list are expected to compete.

Roger Chapman won the first major of the year, the Senior PGA Championship, while Tom Lehman captured the Regions Tradition and Joe Daley won the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship.

Indianwood Golf & Country Club will be hosting its third USGA Championhip. Betsy King won the 1989 U.S. Women's Open and Patty Sheehan captured the 1994 U.S. Women's Open at Indianwood.

This will be the 31st USGA Championship staged in Michigan and the third U.S. Senior Open held in the state. Arnold Palmer won the 1981 title at Oakland Hills Country Club and Jack Nicklaus captured the 1991 tournament at Oakland Hills.

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. 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 tournament history.

This is the 33rd U.S. Senior Open Championship. A total of 26 players have won the first 32 championships. Twenty-nine clubs have hosted the championship with Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham Hills, Mich., Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., and Inverness Club having served twice as a Senior Open site. This year, the USGA accepted 2,479 entries. The record was 3,101 in 2002. The championship is open to any professional or amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 who turns 50 on or before July 12, 2012. Entries closed on May 23.

Only three 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. Langer equaled this feat in 2010 when he won the Senior British Open prior to winning the U.S. Senior Open.

Last year, Olin Browne won his first major title in wire-to-wire fashion. He fired rounds of 64-69-65-71 to finish at 15-under-par 269 for a three stroke victory over Mark O'Meara. Browne matched the 36-hole record and established a new 54-hole mark. He also set a new 9-hole record with a 29 in the third round, becoming the first player to break 30 in this tournament. Browne joined Dale Douglass (1986) as the only players to win wire-to-wire.

In 2010, Bernhard Langer played a brilliant, bogey-free round of 67 on the final day to defeat local favorite and honorary chairman Fred Couples by three shots. For the week, Langer did not have a three-putt and had just one bogey over his final 45 holes.

Back in 2009, Fred 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.

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).

Brad Bryant fired a four-under 68 in the final round in 2007 to win, 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 tournament history. 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 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. 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 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).

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 16 appearances at the Senior Open, Irwin has two wins, two seconds, a third, a fourth, two fifths and has finished outside the top 25 only five times. Irwin finished tied for 32nd in 2006 and 2009, missed the cut in 2007 and 2010, and tied for 40th in 2008. Not surprisingly, Irwin is the all-time leading money winner at this event with $1,522,107 in earnings.

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 12 times, including each of the last four years. Doyle's comeback from nine strokes in 2005 is the best come-from-behind win in 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.

Player, Tom Weiskopf, Doyle, Funk and Langer are the only players to post four consecutive rounds in the 60s and win -- Player in 1987, Weiskopf in 1995, Doyle in 2006, Funk in 2009 and Langer in 2010.

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 seven 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), Australia's Graham Marsh (1997) and Germany's Langer (2010) 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.

The Champions Tour moves to Scotland next week for the final major of the season, the Senior British Open Championship at Turnberry, where Russ Cochran will defend his title

07/10 20:42:32 ET

As of July 10, 2012, at 08:42 PM ET

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