The Edmond Sun
The United States Golf Association announced Thursday that it has accepted 2,715 entries for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for July 10-13 at Oak Tree National, in Edmond. Twelve past champions are among the 80 players who are currently fully exempt into the field for the championship.
“Players aspire to win the U.S. Senior Open Championship, and that is evidenced by the number of entries,” said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “We are excited to bring the U.S. Senior Open to both Oklahoma and Oak Tree National for the first time and look forward to awarding the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy to the champion in July.”
The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Sectional qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 34 sites across the United States between June 12-24. There are qualifying sites in 27 states, including five in California and three in Florida. In addition, places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and Champions Tour events in the weeks remaining before the 2014 U.S. Senior Open.
The USGA received entries for the 35th U.S. Senior Open from golfers in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 30 foreign countries. The record for entries was established in 2002, when 3,101 golfers applied to play.
Kenny Perry, the 2013 champion, and 11 other Senior Open champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Olin Browne (2011), Brad Bryant (2007), Roger Chapman (2012), Dave Eichelberger (1999), Fred Funk (2009), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Bernhard Langer (2010), Larry Laoretti (1992), Graham Marsh (1997) and Don Pooley (2002).
There are five U.S. Open champions among the 80 exempted players. They are: three-time champion Hale Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990), Steve Jones (1996), Tom Kite (1992), Corey Pavin (1995) and Scott Simpson (1987).
For the fourth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted, beginning on March 5. Dave Tentis, a 52-year-old professional from Woodbury, Minn., submitted his entry 8 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 28. Kenneth Noonan, a 58-year-old amateur from Pacific Grove, Calif., was the first entrant.
More information about the U.S. Senior Open before, during and after the 2014 championship at Oak Tree National can be found at www.usga.org.