SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Right on the heels of the U.S. Open is the version for players 50-years of age and older — the U.S. Senior Open.
The tournament, in its 36th year, has featured golf's stars of the past, still competing at a championship level. Joining defending champion Colin Montgomerie, as well as the rest of the best senior professionals in the world, will be 27 senior amateur players, including last year's low amateur Mike McCoy of West Des Moines, Iowa, the 2014 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Patrick Tallent of Vienna, Va., and his runner-up Bryan Norton of Mission Hills, Kansas.
McCoy, who captured his first USGA title at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, will be competing in his 43rd USGA event. He has been victorious already in 2015 with a big win on the mid-amateur circuit — the George L. Coleman Invitational at Seminole Golf Club in Florida.
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“They’re always the most important championships,” McCoy told the USGA of his lengthy experience in their events. “They’re all well-organized and well-run. It’s easy to get motivated and prepare if you want to be there.”
Tallent competed in the Walter J. Travis Invitational at Garden City Golf Club where he was one of nine medalists. Norton has continued his hot play from 2014 at Big Canyon, with a runner-up finish at the Trans-Miss Senior and a victory at Seminole in the Senior Division of the Coleman.
Twenty-four other talented players reached the 2015 championship via sectional qualifying. Some, nine to be exact, even won their respective qualifiers and left with medalist honors.
Terry Foreman, Jim Knoll, and Jeff Wilson were co-medalists at Green Valley Country Club in Northern California and made up the only three players to advance through the site. Wilson is a notable name, having made headlines as low amateur at the 2000 U.S. Open and medalist at the 2010 U.S. Amateur. Wilson, a native of Fairfield, Calif., has a win under his belt in 2015 at the Southern California Mid-Amateur.
Keep an eye on Savannah, Ga. native Doug Hanzel, who advanced through qualifying tying for first at Cherokee Town Golf & Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Hanzel captured the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur and will be playing in his fifth straight U.S. Senior Open. He also has the winning vibes flowing again this year with victories at the Timuquana Senior and Flordia Azalea Senior invitationals, as well as a runner-up finish at the Jones Cup Senior.
Other players to earn medalist honors at qualifying include Doug Williams of Hong Kong, Michael Kelly of Odenton, Md., Dave Bunker of Canada, Jack Larkin of Atlanta, and Roger Hoit of Summit, New Jersey.
Stay tuned into AmateurGolf.com as we'll have full coverage of the U.S. Senior Open from Del Paso Country Club with regards to the play of these 27 amateur contestants.