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

DATES: Thursday, July 11th through Sunday, July 14th
SITE: Omaha Country Club, Omaha, Nebraska
COURSE ARCHITECT: Perry Maxwell (1925), Keith Foster (2005)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 6,711
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 385 Yds10 - Par 4 494 Yds
2 - Par 5 548 Yds11 - Par 3 165 Yds
3 - Par 3 230 Yds12 - Par 4 450 Yds
4 - Par 4 413 Yds13 - Par 4 312 Yds
5 - Par 3 188 Yds14 - Par 5 523 Yds
6 - Par 5 540 Yds15 - Par 4 398 Yds
7 - Par 3 191 Yds16 - Par 3 223 Yds
8 - Par 4 477 Yds17 - Par 4 319 Yds
9 - Par 4 399 Yds18 - Par 4 456 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,371 Yds35 3,340 Yds
 
Annual:  34th
Television:  ESPN2 - Thursday/Friday -- 4-8 p.m. (ET),
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (ET)
Defending Champion:  Roger Chapman
Runner(s)-Up:  Fred Funk, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Bernhard Langer
Tournament Record:  267 (Hale Irwin, 2000 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Olin Browne, 2011 - Inverness Club)
36-Hole Record:  133 (Dave Stockton, 1992 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
  (Simon Hobday, 1994 - Pinehurst Resort & Country Club)
  (Bruce Fleisher, 2000 - Saucon Valley Country Club)
  (Loren Roberts, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Tom Watson, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Craig Stadler, 2005 - NCR Country Club - South Course)
  (Tim Jackson, 2009 - Crooked Stick Golf Club)
  (Olin Browne, 2011 - Inverness 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:  $2,750,000
Shares:  1st Place - $500,000; 2nd Place - $295,000; 3rd Place - $185,675
 
2012 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Roger Chapman270John Cook274
Fred Funk272John Huston274
Tom Lehman272Mark Wiebe275
Corey Pavin272Peter Senior277
Bernhard Langer272Lance Ten Broeck277
Jay Haas277
 
Past U.S. Senior Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
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
Player2003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Roger Chapman---------------------------Won
Corey Pavin---------------------T-20T-7T-2
Bernhard Langer---------------T-6T-22WonT-9T-2
Tom Lehman------------------T-8T-12T-23T-2
Fred Funk---------T-11---2ndWonT-43T-50T-2
John Huston------------------------T-9T-6
John Cook---------------5thT-19T-3mcT-6
Mark Wiebe---------------mcT-22T-18T-238th
Peter Senior---------------------T-66thT-9
Jay Haas---T-3T-22T-8T-5T-9T-13T-20T-13T-9
Mark Calcavecchia---------------------T-243rdT-12
Tom KiteT-12T-3T-37T-55T-22T-12mcT-8T-29T-12
Fred Couples---------------------2nd---T-12
Tom Pernice Jr---------------------------T-15
Steve Lowery------------------------T-23T-17
Peter Jacobsen---WonT-26T-3T-33mcmcwdmcT-17
Gary Hallberg---------------T-14mcT-40T-42T-22
Tom Watson2ndT-25T-52nd4thT-23T-435th---T-22
Jay Don Blake---------------------------T-22
Kirk Triplett---------------------------T-22
Jeff Sluman---------------T-18T-16T-24T-17T-28
Michael Allen---------------------T-6T-7T-33
Joey Sindelar---------------T-62ndT-18T-4T-36
Dan Forsman------------------13thT-12T-17T-36
Loren Roberts------T-2T-83rdT-12T-4T-20T-17T-36
Tommy Armour III---------------------11th54thT-36
Steve Jones------------------------T-29T-44
Brad Faxon---------------------------T-44
Bob Tway------------------T-22T-32T-42T-51
Larry Mize------------------16thT-8T-2963rd
Bob GilderT-435thT-127thT-1857thT-43T-40T-5564th
Hale Irwin---2nd25thT-32mcT-40T-32mcT-4mc
Scott Simpson---------T-5T-33T-23T-6T-12T-15mc
Hal Sutton------------------T-49T-38T-29mc
Eduardo Romero------------T-22WonT-19T-28mcmc
Graham MarshT-28T-25mcT-26mc------T-63mcmc
Gil MorganT-12T-12T-18T-41T-33T-23T-28T-53---mc
Joe Daley---------------------------mc
Kenny Perry---------------------------mc
Russ Cochran------------------3rdT-28T-17wd
David Frost---------------------62nddqwd
Mark O'Meara------------T-11mcT-6mc2nd---
D.A. Weibring---6thT-2T-8T-5T-34---wdT-37---
Tom JenkinsT-10T-32T-14T-47mcT-54T-32mcT-42---
Keith Fergus------------T-29T-14T-43T-2457th---
Bruce FleisherT-43T-12T-43mcT-41dqT-49T-48mc---
Rocco Mediate------------------------------
Colin Montgomerie------------------------------
Gene Sauers------------------------------
Esteban Toledo------------------------------
Duffy Waldorf------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Fred Couples
Darkhorse - Colin Montgomerie
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fred Couples) - Finished tied for 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jeff Sluman) - Finished tied for 16th
 
NOTES:The United States Golf Association, along with the Champions Tour moves
to Nebraska this week for the fourth major on the elder circuit, the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Kohki Idoki captured the Senior PGA Championship in late May, followed by David Frost at last month's Regions Tradition, and Kenny Perry at the Senior Players Championship two weeks ago.

A stellar field will be on hand, as the top-34 players on the current money list are scheduled to compete, including defending champion Roger Chapman.

Chapman, who carded four rounds in the 60s last year, defeated Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin by two shots for his second career title, both Champions Tour majors.

After winning in his first 2012 event at the Senior PGA, Chapman came from behind to become the fourth player in Champions Tour history to win both of those prestigious titles in the same year. Gary Player did it in 1988, then Jack Nicklaus turned the trick three years later. Hale Irwin was the last to accomplish the feat back in 1998.

Langer, who held the third-round lead and was four clear of Chapman when the final round began, struggled to a 2-over 72 to tie for second.

There are 28 amateurs in the 156-player field. The number is the lowest total since 2004 at Bellerive Country Club. Doug Hanzel, the low amateur at last year's U.S. Senior Open, and Paul Simson, the 2010 and 2012 USGA Senior Amateur champion, are among this group.

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 five playoffs in tournament history.

This is the 34th U.S. Senior Open Championship. A total of 27 players have won the first 33 championships. Thirty clubs have hosted the championship with Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham Hills, Mich., Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., and Inverness Club having served twice as a Senior Open site. This year, the USGA accepted 2,746 entries. The record was 3,101 in 2002. The championship is open to any professional or amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 who turns 50 on or before July 11, 2013. Entries closed on June 5.

This year's championship will be staged at Omaha Country Club, designed by Perry Maxwell in 1925. Omaha Country Club has hosted the Nebraska State Amateur on 15 occasions, including 2005. Johnny Goodman, the last amateur to win the U.S. Open and an Omaha native, won the second of three consecutive Nebraska State Amateurs at Omaha C.C. in 1930.

This will be the third USGA championship and the first U.S. Senior Open held in Nebraska. In 1941, Marvin (Bud) Ward defeated Pat Abbott, 4 & 3, to win the U.S. Amateur at the Field Club of Omaha. In 1996, Kelli Kuehne won her second consecutive U.S. Women's Amateur title with a 2 & 1 victory over Marisa Baena at Firehorn Golf Club in Lincoln.

Only three players have won the U.S. Senior Open after also claiming the Champions Tour event the week before. Graham Marsh was the first to do it when he claimed the 1997 Nationwide Championship and then won the Senior Open at Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago. In 1998, Irwin won the Ameritech Senior Open and then claimed the Senior Open near Los Angeles at Riviera Country Club. Langer equaled this feat in 2010 when he won the Senior British Open prior to winning the U.S. Senior Open. Kenny Perry will have that opportunity this week.

In 2011, Olin Browne won his first major title in wire-to-wire fashion. 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 matched the 36-hole record and established a new 54-hole mark. He also set a new 9-hole record with a 29 in the third round, becoming the first player to break 30 in this tournament. Browne joined Dale Douglass (1986) as the only players to win wire-to-wire. Browne has withdrawn from this year's Senior Open due to a back injury.

Other players to have withdrawn from this year's championship are: Allen Doyle, Brad Bryant, Nick Price and Craig Stadler.

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.

Back in 2009, Fred 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. Amateur Tim Jackson made plenty of headlines earlier in the week, as he opened with rounds of 66-67 to take the lead, however he faded to tie for 11th with weekend rounds of 73-76.

In 2008, Eduardo Romero, playing in just his second Senior Open, defeated Funk by four shots to become just the second Argentine winner of the championship, joining Robert De Vicenzo (1980).

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. Bryant, who trailed by five strokes at the beginning of the final round, notched the second biggest final-round comeback tournament history. 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.

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 Gary 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, at the U.S. Senior Open. 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 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.

In his 16 appearances at the Senior Open, Irwin has two wins, two seconds, a third, a fourth, two fifths and has finished outside the top 25 only five times. Irwin finished tied for 32nd in 2006 and 2009, missed the cut in 2007 and 2010, and tied for 40th in 2008. Not surprisingly, Irwin is the all-time leading money winner at this event with $1,522,107 in earnings.

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.

Since 1990, player(s) leading or co-leading the U.S. Senior Open after the third round have gone on to win the championship 12 times. The streak of four consecutive seasons was snapped last year, as Chapman came from behind. 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 (2012).

Barber, who passed away earlier this year, had won more U.S. Senior Open titles than any other player (three). Barber was victorious at the Portland (Ore.) Golf Club in 1982, Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., in 1984 and at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club in Stateline, Nev., in 1985. Sadly, Barber died last month at the age of 82.

Foreign-born players have captured the U.S. Senior Open a total of eight times. Player, a South African, was a two-time winner (1987-88), while Argentina's DeVicenzo (1980) and Romero (2008), South Africa's Simon Hobday (1994), Australia's Graham Marsh (1997), Germany's Langer (2010) and Englishman Chapman (2012) each won it once.

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 Europe in two weeks for the final major of the season, the Senior British Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, where Couples will defend his title.

07/09 13:59:59 ET

As of July 9, 2013, at 02:00 PM ET