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

DATES: Thursday, June 25th through Sunday, June 28th
SITE: Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: John L. Black (1916), Kyle Phillips (2006 - redesign)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,121
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 545 Yds10 - Par 4 327 Yds
2 - Par 3 178 Yds11 - Par 4 397 Yds
3 - Par 4 499 Yds12 - Par 3 169 Yds
4 - Par 5 583 Yds13 - Par 5 550 Yds
5 - Par 3 230 Yds14 - Par 3 218 Yds
6 - Par 4 398 Yds15 - Par 5 636 Yds
7 - Par 4 442 Yds16 - Par 4 494 Yds
8 - Par 4 450 Yds17 - Par 3 225 Yds
9 - Par 4 318 Yds18 - Par 4 462 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,643 Yds35 3,478 Yds
 
Annual:  36th
Television:  FS1 - Thursday/Friday -- 2-7 p.m. (et),
  FOX - Saturday/Sunday -- 2-7 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Colin Montgomerie
Runner(s)-Up:  Gene Sauers
Tournament Record:  267 (Hale Irwin, 2000 - Saucon Valley Country Club;
  Kenny Perry, 2013 - Omaha Country Club)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Olin Browne, 2011 - Inverness Club)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Michael Allen, 2013 - Omaha Country Club)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Loren Roberts, 2006 - Prairie Dunes Country Club)
9-Hole Record:  28 (Tom Kite, 2012 - Indianwood Golf & Country Club)
Total Purse:  $3,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $630,000; 2nd Place - $378,000; 3rd Place - $210,000
 
2014 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Colin Montgomerie *279Vijay Singh284
Gene Sauers279Jeff Sluman284
Woody Austin283Kirk Triplett285
David Frost283Four players at286
Marco Dawson284

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past U.S. Senior Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014*Colin Montgomerie (279) -- Gene Sauers
(Oak Tree National -- Edmond, Oklahoma)
2013Kenny Perry (267) -- Fred Funk
(Omaha Country Club, Omaha, Nebraska)
2012Roger Chapman (270) -- Fred Funk, B.Langer, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin
(Indianwood Golf & Country Club (Old Course), Lake Orion, Michigan)
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
Player2005200620072008200920102011201220132014
Colin Montgomerie------------------------T-30Won
Gene Sauers------------------------T-352nd
David Frost---------------62nddqwdT-20T-3
Jeff Sluman---------T-18T-16T-24T-17T-28T-6T-5
Kirk Triplett---------------------T-22T-98th
Bernhard Langer---------T-6T-22WonT-9T-2T-14T-9
Peter Senior---------------T-66thT-9T-14T-9
Joe Durant---------------------------T-9
Kenny Perry---------------------mcWonT-14
Esteban Toledo------------------------T-30T-14
Duffy Waldorf------------------------T-9T-20
Loren RobertsT-2T-83rdT-12T-4T-20T-17T-36T-14T-20
Roger Chapman---------------------WonmcT-20
Tom Lehman------------T-8T-12T-23T-2T-9T-24
John Cook---------5thT-19T-3mcT-6T-35T-24
Corey Pavin---------------T-20T-7T-2T-3T-26
Rocco Mediate------------------------T-3T-26
Michael Allen---------------T-6T-7T-335thT-26
Fred Funk---T-11---2ndWonT-43T-50T-22ndT-33
Mark O'Meara------T-11mcT-6mc2nd---19thT-38
Olin Browne------------10thT-3WonT-36---T-47
Jeff Maggert---------------------------T-55
Mark Calcavecchia---------------T-243rdT-12T-54mc
Fred Couples---------------2nd---T-12T-14---
Jay HaasT-22T-8T-5T-9T-13T-20T-13T-9T-35---
Miguel A. Jimenez------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Colin Montgomerie
Darkhorse - Kirk Triplett
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Joe Durant) - Finished tied for 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brian Henninger) - Finished tied for 39th
 
NOTES:The United States Golf Association, along with the Champions Tour moves
to California this week for the fourth major on the elder circuit this season, the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Jeff Maggert captured the Regions Tradition and Colin Montgomerie won the Senior PGA Championship in May, followed by Bernhard Langer winning the Constellation Senior Players Championship in June.

A stellar field will be on hand, as the top-28 players on the current money list are scheduled to compete, including money leader Montgomerie, who sits at the top with over $1 million in earnings.

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 six playoffs in tournament history.

This year's championship will be staged at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, which was designed by John L. Black and opened for play in 1916. The course was redesigned by Kyle Phillips in 2006.

Last year, Montgomerie parred the third hole of an aggregate playoff to defeat Gene Sauers. Montgomerie, from Scotland, became the eighth international player to capture the title, joining Argentina's Roberto De Vicenzo (1980) and Eduardo Romero (2008), South Africa's Gary Player (1987-88) and Simon Hobday (1994), Australia's Graham Marsh (1997), Germany's Bernhard Langer (2010) and England's Roger Chapman (2012).

In 2013, Kenny Perry fired a 7-under 63 in the final round to rally for a 5-stroke victory over Fred Funk. Perry, who was 10 strokes off the pace at the end of the second round, captured his second straight major victory at 13-under-par 267. He won his first major title two weeks prior at the Senior Players Championship.

Olin Browne won his first major title in wire-to-wire fashion back in 2011. He fired rounds of 64-69-65-71 to finish at 15-under-par 269 for a 3-stroke victory over Mark O'Meara. Browne established a new 54-hole mark. Browne joined Dale Douglass (1986) as the only players to win wire-to-wire.

Langer played a brilliant, bogey-free round of 67 in 2010 on the final day to defeat local favorite and honorary chairman Fred Couples by three shots. For the week, Langer did not have a 3-putt and had just one bogey over his final 45 holes.

In 2009, 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.

Brad Bryant fired a 4-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 6-under-par 282. Watson got to 9-under with a birdie on the par-4 10th, but dropped six strokes over the next five holes. Watson posted a 7-over 43 on the back nine en route to a 6-over 78 at Whistling Straits that left him alone in fourth at 1-under-par 287.

Allen 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 Watson by two shots for his 11th Champions Tour title and fourth major championship, finishing at 8-under-par 272 to become the third repeat champion in tournament history, joining 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 3-under 68 in the final round to win his first career major, and his first Champions Tour event. 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 Tom 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 bettered a record previously held by Marlene Streit of 29 years.

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.

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, Langer and Chapman 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, Langer in 2010 and Chapman in 2012.

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 Illinois in two weeks for the Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, where Tom Lehman captured the 2014 title.

06/23 16:42:28 ET

As of June 23, 2015, at 04:43 PM ET
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