The Edmond Sun

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May 25, 2014

U.S. Senior Open infrastructure continues climb

EDMOND — When the projected 140,000-plus spectators arrive at Oak Tree National for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open they won’t be thinking about details like how Edmond Electric is routing power to the course.

But Kevin Clark does.

Clark is the tournament’s operations manager, and he’s been at the course making sure that when spectators enter one of the hospitality tents they’ll be treated to a first-class experience during the July 7-13 championship.

The tournament will feature amenities including a putting green supersuite, a Dye House Hospitality area, grandstands, Lexus Performance Drive, a Chevron STEM Zone, a communications center and villas at several holes.

The amenities will compliment the Pete Dye-designed course regarded as the finest inland course he has ever built.

A tour of the course preparations included the corporate-sponsored supersuite that will have 100-150 tickets per day granting access. Clark said the supersuite will be carpeted with an open air deck, mahogany bars, TVs, scoring terminals with live leader board updates and, of course, food and beverages.

“It’s a neat deal and turns out to be quite comfortable inside when it’s all said and done,” Clark said.

Lasers are being used to level platforms like the main media area, Clark said. ESPN will be covering the first and second rounds. NBC will be covering the third and final round on July 13.

Another stop was the operations compound, which will continue to grow as more vendors arrive on site, Clark said. One will work on grandstands. Trane is working on heating and cooling infrastructure. Edmond Electric was at the course May 22 working on the power supply for all the additional structures.

At the operations compound, Project Manager Jose Lemus oversees 18 personnel including tent erectors, crew chiefs and workers. Lemus, who has been working at the course for a month, said in most areas his crew is well ahead of schedule.

“The progress has been awesome,” Lemus said. “I just love to do this stuff. I’ve been doing it for 17 years. I hope we will keep doing it.”

Named for the majestic oak tree on the fifth hole, Oak Tree National was built on 640 acres in 1974. Club founders Ernie Vossler and Joe Walser asked Dye to design one of the most challenging courses in the country. Given its design and the ever-present Oklahoma winds, the course remains a stiff challenge to even the world’s best golfers.

Some of the players expected for this summer’s event include Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer and at least seven U.S. Senior Open champions as well as Edmond’s own Oak Tree Gang — Bob Tway, Scott Verplank, Willie Wood and Gil Morgan.

VISIT www.2014ussenioropen.com for more information on tickets and volunteer opportunities.

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