Clockwise from top left: Doug Hanzel, Paul
Simson, Hunter Nelson and Tom Brandes
The U.S. Senior Open Championship begins
Thursday at Omaha Country Club in Omaha,
Mixed in with some of the biggest names on
the Champions Tour will be an elite cast of
senior amateurs hoping to make a splash.
Here's a look at the amateurs in the field at
this week's U.S. Senior Open:
On the strength of
his low amateur status at last year's
Senior Open, Hanzel returns to the field. He
finished 53rd overall at last year's event at
reigning Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Senior
Player of the Year, is currently ranked No. 3 in
the world senior rankings. He enters the
Senior Open after winning the U.S. Senior
Amateur last year and with 2013 wins at the
National Senior Hall of Fame and Coleman
Skinner placed second
at last year's U.S. Amateur and enters
the field on that runner-up finish. He lost to
Paul Simson in the finale but enters the
Open with a number of USGA appearances
under his belt.
A regular name
among elite senior players, Brandes is
coming off a successful defense of his title at
the Pacific Northwest Senior. He reached
the U.S. Senior Open after qualifying at the Cle
Elum, Wash. sectional.
: Hale took medalist honors
at the Cle Elum, Wash. sectional qualifier
at Rope Rider to earn a spot in the U.S. Senior
: Hendley took one of
three qualifying positions at the Daniel
Island Club sectional qualifier in South Carolina.
Manning was the lone
amateur qualifier among four moving past
the River Crest Country Club qualifier in Fort
Wilson took one of only
two qualifying spots at the Green Valley
Country Club qualifier held in California.
: Vaughan is the
25th ranked senior in the world
according to the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com
Player Rankings and enters the field after
qualifying at the Montgomery, Ala. sectional.
: Brennan also
qualified at the Montgomery sectional, making
a clean amateur sweep at Wynlakes Golf &
: Verdegaal took one
of three spots available at the Salinas,
: Along with Verdegaal,
Simoni qualified at Corral de Tierra in
: Roat was one of two to
move on (the only amateur) past the
Marsh Creek Country Club sectional in St.
: Reycroft was the only
amateur to move on after the sectional
qualifier held at the prestigious and historic
Kittansett Club in Merion, Mass.
: Elliott took advantage of
his sectional qualifying opportunity,
reaching the field via the Nebraska City, Neb.
qualifier held at Arborlinks.
: Hughes took one of
the remaining qualifying spots at the
Arborlinks qualifier in Nebraska.
Sughrue was one
of three to qualify from the Musket Ridge
Golf Club sectional in Myersville, Md.
at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas
and enters the field on the strength of a top-5
finish at the Carlton Woods Invitational
and a T15 at the Crane Cup.
Knapp qualified alongside
Sughrue at the Maryland sectional.
With recent wins at
the Coleman Invitational and the George
C. Thomas Invitational, McCoy may be the
hottest amateur in the field. The Iowa
resident qualified at The Federal Club in Glen
: Zahringer also
qualified at The Federal Club. He reached the
match play portion of last year's U.S. Mid-
Amateur before withdrawing to qualify for the
Camaione took one
of the two qualifying spots at the
Crystalaire Country Club qualifier in Llano, Calif.
Hall qualified for the Senior
Open at The Broadmoor Golf Club in
Colorado Springs, Colo.
: Belk was one of two
amateurs to move past the Johns Creek, Ga.
Hall was the other player to
qualify at The Standard Club in Georgia.
Gagai qualified at
Worthington Hills Country Club in Columbus,
New took his spot in the
Open field by taking one of three available
berths at the Entanterra Country Club qualifier
in San Tan, Ariz.
Amateurgolf.com will have full coverage of the
event when it begins Thursday.
ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Open
The U.S. Senior Open is one of 13 national
championships conducted by the USGA. Open
to amateurs and professionals who have reached
their 50th birthday as of the first day of the
The Senior Open was first
played in 1980 with a purse of, get this, just
$100,000. Roberto Vincenzo of Argentina was the
inaugural champion (winning $20,000), and Arnold
Palmer was a popular winner the following year in
1981 at Oakland Hills. The purse has since grown to
almost $4 million with the winner taking $675,000.
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