8/10 • 3 - 6 PM
U.S. SENIOR OPEN
By Brian DePasquale, USGA
Wisconsin native Steve Stricker is among 13 past champions who have filed an entry to compete at SentryWorld in late June. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)
The USGA has accepted 3,066 entries for the 43rd U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for June 29-July 2, 2023, at SentryWorld, in Stevens Point, Wis. Thirteen champions are among the 85 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.
Padraig Harrington, the 2022 champion, and 12 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), Fred Funk (2009), Jim Furyk (2021), Bernhard Langer (2010), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014), Kenny Perry (2013, 2017), Gene Sauers (2016), Steve Stricker (2019) and David Toms (2018). Harrington held off Stricker to post a one-stroke victory last year at Saucon Valley Country Club’s Old Course, in Bethlehem, Pa.
This year’s entry total surpassed the 3,000 mark for the fourth time and is the second-highest in championship history. The record was established in 2002, when 3,101 applied to play. The USGA accepted entries for the 2023 championship from golfers in 48 U.S. states, including 60 from host state Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia and 46 foreign countries.
“It is gratifying to see the worldwide interest that thousands of golfers have in competing for both a place in the U.S. Senior Open field and ultimately earning the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy as champion,” said USGA Chief Championships Officer John Bodenhamer. “SentryWorld and central Wisconsin will serve as great hosts to senior golf’s most prestigious championship.”
The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4, who are at least 50 years of age by the start of championship play.
Qualifying will be conducted over 18 holes at 33 sites across the United States between May 8 and June 8. There are qualifying sites in 25 states, including five in California, three in Florida and two each in Wisconsin and Texas. Additional places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events in the weeks remaining before the 2023 U.S. Senior Open.
There are five U.S. Open champions among the 85 exempt players. They include two-time champions Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004) and Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), as well as Michael Campbell (2005) and Furyk (2003). Eight U.S. Open runners-up are also exempt: Els (2000), Furyk (2006, 2007, 2016), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000), Tom Lehman (1996), Davis Love III (1996), Rocco Mediate (2008), Montgomerie (1994, 1997, 2006) and Jeff Sluman (1992).
Major champions are also among the group of exempt players and include Masters winners – Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir; PGA champions – Harrington, Love III, Singh, Sluman, Toms and Y.E. Yang; and winners of The Open Championship – Mark Calcavecchia, Stewart Cink, Darren Clarke, Els, Harrington, Justin Leonard, Lehman and O’Meara.
Lance Gilliland, a 51-year-old professional from Birmingham, Ala., submitted his entry 3 minutes, 20 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 3. Matt Schalk, a 52-year-old professional from Erie, Colo., was the first entrant on Feb. 21.
SentryWorld is hosting its first Senior Open and third USGA championship. A public, parkland course in central Wisconsin, SentryWorld was developed by Sentry Insurance in 1982 as part of a sports complex that includes indoor tennis courts, banquet space and restaurants. At the heart of the 200-acre property lies the championship layout, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. In 2013, Jones oversaw a major renovation that was led by architects Bruce Charlton and Jay Blasi.
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