Officials from the 38th U.S. Senior Open Championship, conducted by the United States Golf Association, recently announced that Tom Watson, an eight-time major professional champion, and defending champion Gene Sauers have filed entries as exempt players. Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Olin Browne, Roger Chapman, Peter Jacobsen, Jeff Maggert, Colin Montgomerie and Kenny Perry are also fully exempt as U.S. Senior Open champions and have entered this year’s championship.
The 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship will be held at Salem Country Club, in Peabody June 26-July 2.
Watson, pictured above, a three-time U.S. Senior Open runner-up, won the 1982 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. He also captured five Open Championships, conducted by The R&A, and two Masters Tournaments. Watson, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988, won 39 PGA Tour events. A winner of six senior major professional titles, Watson, 67, tied for 16th in the 2001 U.S. Senior Open when the championship was last held at Salem Country Club.
Sauers posted a one-stroke victory over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Billy Mayfair to win the 2016 U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club, in Columbus, Ohio. He made a 5-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to earn custody of the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy. Sauers, who finished as the U.S. Senior Open runner-up in 2014, won his first PGA Tour title in New England when he defeated Blaine McCallister in a playoff to claim the 1986 Bank of Boston Classic, held at Pleasant Valley Country Club, in Sutton, Mass.
Irwin, the 1998 and 2000 U.S. Senior Open champion, also returns to Salem Country Club for a second Senior Open. He tied for 11th in 2001 as the defending champion. Irwin, 71, will be making his 22nd Senior Open appearance and is fourth all-time in that category. He is one of six players to have won three or more U.S. Opens, capturing the championship in 1974, 1979 and 1990. Irwin was enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.
Langer, the 2010 U.S. Senior champion, and Irwin are tied for second on the all-time list with seven senior major professional titles. Langer, who also is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, owns 30 PGA Tour Champions victories. He won the Masters Tournament in 1985 and 1993 and posted 42 PGA European Tour wins.
Tickets can be purchased through the U.S. Senior Open website at www.2017ussenioropen.com or by calling 978-818-6006. A daily championship round gallery ticket is $50 and a weekly gallery ticket is $125. The championship provides free admission to all youths 17 and under who are accompanied by a ticketed adult. The front row of every grandstand is reserved for children. All ticket holders receive complimentary parking with shuttle service to the championship.
The 38th U.S. Senior Open to be held June 26-July 2, 2017 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass., will feature a field of 156 of the world’s best professional and amateur senior golfers (over the age of 50). The local qualifying round will be held at Kernwood Country Club in Peabody on May 24.