An official who has been in charge of tournaments since 2001 said the 2014 U.S. Senior Open is probably the best city event partnership he has seen.
Earlier in the week, Jeff Ewing, 2014 U.S. Senior Open championship director, made the statement in front of local business leaders during an Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Rose Creek Country Club, 17001 N. May Avenue.
The tournament will be from July 7-13 at Edmond’s Oak Tree National. More than 140,000 spectators are expected to attend the event, providing a projected economic impact of more than $15 million in the area.
Ewing said if you throw in the state, from the beginning to now, what is being implemented is “second to none.” Ewing said he just came from a meeting with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, which has pledged its full support.
“So truly, as we head into the last 80 some odd days, I think the city should be proud of the planning that’s gone into place,” Ewing said.
That includes the Edmond mayor, City Council, city staff and the Edmond Police Department. Ewing said Police Maj. Tim Dorsey has personally invested a lot of time.
“Thank you for all you guys have done to make this what I think is going to be a good success for Edmond,” Ewing said to the business leaders.
Ewing said the local owners of Oak Tree National are committed to bringing more events including major championship golf.
“This is our first step back,” he said.
Previous Oak Tree events include the 2012 Trans-Mississippi Championship, the 2006 Senior PGA Championship, the 2000 PGA Club Pro Championship, the 1988 PGA Championship, 1980 PGA Cup Matches and the 1978-1979 PGA Round of Champions.
What makes the Edmond-Oklahoma City area unique are offerings including Paralympic training facilities, the University of Central Oklahoma boathouse in the Oklahoma River Boathouse District and the just-opened Edmond YMCA Olympic-size swimming, Ewing said.
Sporting events are truly a tourism and economic development tool, Ewing said.
Many companies represented at the luncheon have supported the Senior Open, Ewing said. Sponsorship opportunities remain as do volunteer opportunities; more than 2,000 area residents have already signed up as volunteers, Ewing said.
If parents have kids interested in getting involved, Edmond Public Schools has been spreading the word, Ewing said. Junior volunteer positions that will be “inside the ropes” remain available.
Featured players include local favorites like Bob Tway, Gil Morgan, Scott Verplank and Willie Wood along with Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Tom Watson and Nick Price. Ewing said five players who finished in the top 50 at the 2014 Masters Tournament have qualified for the Edmond event.
ESPN and NBC will broadcast the 2014 Senior Open to more than 100 countries.
For more information, call Ewing at 726-9700 or email him at email@example.com or email champtionship assistant Justin Belanger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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