Next week’s U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor will feature at least a handful of local competitors, including winners of 6 USGA championships; Also, check out the essentials for the event
by Gary Baines
(June 21 Update: This story was updated after the USGA announced on Thursday that Steve Jones has withdrawn from the U.S. Senior Open field due to knee surgery.)
Last week’s U.S. Open marked just the second time since the 1960s that that event was held without a single competitor with strong Colorado ties.
But that certainly won’t be an issue for the next USGA championship.
When The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs hosts the U.S. Senior Open June 28-July 1, the 156-man field will feature two Colorado residents, another two competitors who grew up in the Centennial State, one more who just went to college in Colorado, and others who have resided in the state over the years.
Local players have a rich history in the event — even though it’s only been held since 1980 — and this is the third time the state has hosted the championship. Jack Nicklaus won at Cherry Hills in 1993 and Eduardo Romero prevailed at The Broadmoor’s East Course in 2008.
Four times a player with major Colorado connections has won the Senior Open. Colorado Sports Hall of Famer Hale Irwin, who grew up in Boulder and played golf and football at the University of Colorado, claimed the titles in 1998 at Riviera in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and in 2000 at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pa.
Dale Douglass, a product of Fort Morgan who also played at CU and now lives at Castle Pines during the summer, won as a Senior Tour rookie in 1986 at Scioto in Columbus, Ohio.
And Orville “Sarge” Moody, who was stationed at Fitzsimons during part of his Army career, earned the victory at Laurel Valley in Ligonier, Pa., in 1989, 20 years after his improbable U.S. Open win.
Here’s a rundown of the locals who will compete next week at The Broadmoor, their history in the U.S. Senior Open, how they’re playing now, and their connection to Colorado:
— Hale Irwin (20 PGA Tour wins, including 3 U.S. Opens; record 45 PGA Tour Champions victories, including 7 senior majors).
Colorado Connection: Grew up in Boulder. Played golf and football at CU. Inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and the CU Athletic Hall of Fame.
At the U.S. Senior Open: Has competed in the event 22 times. Won in 1998 and 2000, giving him five USGA championships overall. Has finished in top five eight times, including two runner-ups, with a fourth-place showing in 2011 at age 66.
Recent Play: At age 73, competes only occasionally. He’s played in four PGA Tour Champions events in 2018, with a best finish of 23rd in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Cedar Lodge team event.
Notable: Has missed just one U.S. Senior Open (2003) since becoming elibible for the event in 1995. … In his first nine U.S. Senior Open appearances, finished no worse than 11th. … Placed 40th in 2008 U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor. … Irwin won The Broadmoor Invitation, a prestigious amateur championship at the club, in 1967.
— Brandt Jobe (1 PGA Tour Champions win).
Colorado Connection: Lived in Colorado from 1970 to ’99. Kent Denver High School graduate. Inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
At the U.S. Senior Open: In two starts, finished third in 2017 tournament.
Recent Play: Has posted two top-10 finishes in 2018 on PGA Tour Champions, with a best showing of fifth place at Insperity Invitational in May. Ranks 33rd on 2018 money list with $247,375.
Notable: Shot a 62 in the third round of the 2017 Senior Open en route to a third-place finish, matching the all-time single-round tournament scoring record. … Last year’s victory at the PGA Tour Champions’ Principal Charity Classic was his first in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. … Among his four PGA Tour runner-ups was one at The International at Castle Pines in 2005.
— Doug Rohrbaugh.
Colorado Connection: Resident of Carbondale.
At the U.S. Senior Open: Has played in three previous U.S. Senior Opens, missing the cut in 2012, ’13 and ’15.
Recent Play: Competed in the 10th PGA Tour Champions event of his career, the Senior PGA Championship, in May, missing the cut. Had conditional status on PGA Tour Champions in 2015.
Notable: Earned a spot in the event by landing medalist honors with a 1-under-par 69 in qualifying at The Broadmoor on Memorial Day. … This will be the eighth senior major in his career (four U.S. Senior Opens, three Senior PGAs and one Regions Traditions). … In Colorado, Rohrbaugh has won the 2013 CoBank Colorado Senior Open and three Colorado PGA Professional Championships.
— Chris Johnson.
Colorado Connection: Resident of Castle Rock.
At the U.S. Senior Open: This will be his first appearance.
Recent Play: Missed cut at his first senior major, the Senior PGA Championship in May.
Notable: Earned a spot in the event by shooting a 2-over-par 72 in qualifying at The Broadmoor on Memorial Day … Won the Colorado PGA Professional Championship in 2010.
— Mikael Hogberg.
Colorado Connection: The native of Sweden played golf at CU from 1980-84.
At the U.S. Senior Open: Has played in four previous Senior Opens, making the cut twice and finishing 23rd in 2011.
Recent Play: Earned a spot in the event by being medalist with a 66 in qualifying in Fayetteville, N.C. on June 4. Hogberg is a resident of Greensboro, N.C.
Notable: Hogberg was a freshman at CU the year 1996 U.S. Open champion Steve Jones was a senior. That year (1981), the Buffs finished 11th in the NCAA Championships, their best showing at nationals since 1968.
— Esteban Toledo (4 PGA Tour Champions wins).
Colorado Connection: Lived in Castle Pines earlier in the new millennium.
At the U.S. Senior Open: Has made three cuts in five U.S. Senior Open appearances, with a best finish of 14th in 2014.
Recent Play: Top finish in 2018 PGA Tour Champions event was 12th in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic in April. Stands 47th on 2018 PGA Tour Champions money list with $171,793.
Notable: The native of Mexico won four times on PGA Tour Champions from 2013 through ’16.
Note: There are other players in the field who have lived in Colorado (for example, John Daly resided in Castle Pines briefly in the early 1990s and Tommy Armour III was born in Denver), but their local connections are relatively short-lived.
The Essentials: 2018 U.S. Senior Open
— What: The 39th U.S. Senior Open.
— Where: The Broadmoor Golf Club’s East Course in Colorado Springs, designed by Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones Sr.
— When: Championship rounds June 28-July 1. Practice rounds June 25-27. Tee times run 7 a.m.-1 p.m. off first and 10th tees on Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. off first tee Saturday and Sunday. Trophy ceremony, Sunday, 7 p.m.
— Format: 72 holes of stroke play. A playoff, if necessary, will be a two-hole aggregate. If the participants are still tied, sudden death would then decide the champion.
— Field: 156 players, all age 50 and older as of June 28. After two rounds, the field will be reduced to the top 60 players and ties. The USGA originally accepted 2,738 entries for the event.
— Course Setup: 7,264 yards, Par-70. (Note: The seventh and 17th holes, normally par-5s, will be par-4s for the championship.) It will be the second-longest yardage for a U.S. Senior Open course, behind only the 7,269 at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., in 2009.
— Defending Champion: Kenny Perry, who won in 2013 as well as 2017.
— World Golf Hall of Famers in Field: Hale Irwin, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, Tom Kite, Mark O’Meara, Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
— Players With Strong Colorado Ties in Field: Colorado Sports Hall of Famer Hale Irwin, Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Brandt Jobe, Colorado residents Doug Rohrbaugh and Chris Johnson, former CU golfer Mikael Hogberg. Also, Esteban Toledo and John Daly once had residences in Castle Pines and Tommy Armour III was born in Denver.
— Other Notables in Field: Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz, Mark Calcavecchia, John Cook, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Tom Lehman, Scott McCarron, Jesper Parnevik, Corey Pavin, Kenny Perry.
— Complete Field: CLICK HERE.
— Tee Times: CLICK HERE.
— Fan Information: CLICK HERE.
— Public Parking: Free public parking is located at 3819 Janitell Road in Colorado Springs. Complimentary shuttles will run continuously to and from the public parking lot. The public lot will open 30 minutes prior to gate times each day.
— Purse: Was $4 million in 2017.
— TV Schedule (broadcast in more than 100 countries):
Wednesday, June 27 — Preview, 10-11 a.m., FS2
Thursday, June 28 — First round, 2-7 p.m., FS1
Friday, June 29 — Second round, 1:30-6:30 p.m., FS1
Saturday, June 30 — Third round, 2-7 p.m., FS1
Sunday, July 1 — Final round, 2-7 p.m., FS1
— Live Streaming on USGA.org:
Thursday, June 28 — 10 a.m.-noon and 2-7 p.m.
Friday, June 29 — 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 30 — 2-7 p.m.
Sunday, July 1 — 2-7 p.m.
— Tickets: Available at 2018ussenioropen.com. Note: Kids 17 and under admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Also, active duty and retired military and immediate dependents admitted free on June 25 and receive 50 percent off the standard cost the remainder of the week.
— Actitivies Leading Up To And During Senior Open Week:
Friday, June 22 at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course in Colorado Springs — Play9 Day, a by-invitation event hosted by USGA and CGA, with former USGA president Judy Bell expected to be on hand. Cherokee Ridge is home of the Pikes Peak Linkers, a program in which kids receive golf instruction from professionals and have free access to the par-3 course at Cherokee Ridge. The Linkers receive support from the USGA and Colorado Golf Foundation.
Monday, June 25, through Sunday, July 1, generally from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. — Youth Golf Experience, hosted by the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado, on first hole of West Course.
Monday, June 25 through Sunday, July 1 — Colorado PGA is co-sponsoring “The Bunker”, a hospitality area for active-duty military and vets to receive complimentary food and beverage.
Monday, June 25, 2 p.m. — Warrior Challenge. Three wounded veterans face a U.S. Senior Open competitor in four-hole affair on West Course.
Monday, June 25, 7 p.m. — Military appreciation concert by Vince Gill and Amy Grant. The Colorado REACH Foundation, in partnership with the Military Warriors Support Foundation, will present a mortgage-free home to a combat-wounded veteran during this event.
Tuesday, June 26, 8:30 a.m. — Drive, Chip & Putt qualifying on 18th hole of West Course.
Tuesday, June 26, 2 p.m. — Hale Irwin exhibition, geared toward juniors, at driving range.
Wednesday, June 27, 8 a.m. — Colorado PGA REACH Foundation hosting a Women’s Leadership Summit, with an accompanying free women’s clinic.
Wednesday, June 27, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Junior Day actitivities.
Wednesday, June 27, 10 a.m. — Colin Montgomerie exhibition, first green of West Course.
Wednesday June 27, 1 p.m. — Mark Calcavecchia autograph signing in merchandise tent.
Thursday, June 27, through Sunday, July 1, 5-6 p.m. — Fan appreciation hours. $2 off beverages and hot dogs during that hour at concession stands and Centennial Club.
Friday, June 28, 9 p.m. — The Broadmoor’s 100th birthday fireworks show around 18th green.
— Championship Qualifiers: 79 players qualified for the U.S. Senior Open through their performance at 34 qualifying tournaments.
— Volunteers: More than 2,600 will help out at the Senior Open.
— Previous USGA championships at The Broadmoor:
1959 U.S. Amateur (East Course), won by Jack Nicklaus.
1962 Curtis Cup Matches (East Course), won by USA over Great Britain & Ireland.
1967 U.S. Amateur (West Course), won by Robert Dickson.
1982 U.S. Women’s Open (South Course), won by Juli Simpson Inkster.
1995 U.S. Women’s Open (East Course), won by Annika Sorenstam.
2008 U.S. Senior Open (East Course), won by Eduardo Romero.
2011 U.S. Women’s Open (East Course), won by So Yeon Ryu.
— Previous U.S. Senior Opens in Colorado:
1993 at Cherry Hills CC, won by Jack Nicklaus.
2008 at The Broadmoor’s East Course, won by Eduardo Romero.
— Additional Information on the Senior Open: CLICK HERE.