Mike McCoy (USGA photo)
Exactly 60 players (all professionals) made the cut at the U.S. Senior Open, which came at 1-over 141 and matched the lowest in championship history (2017). But for the first time since 2003, and the second since the championship began in 1980, no amateurs will play the final 36 holes.
After 18 holes at the Warren Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., USGA champions Mike McCoy and Sean Knapp were the leading amateur players, but neither had played a particularly stellar round. After opening with 1-over 71, Knapp returned a 78 while McCoy came back with a second consecutive 71.
For his effort, McCoy technically earned low-amateur honors, though he missed the cut by one shot.
ROUND 1 RECAP
It was a bit of a tough day for the amateurs at the U.S. Senior Open. Mike McCoy and Sean Knapp fared best, firing rounds of 1-over 71 at the Warren Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., to fall into a tie for 62nd.
By the end of the day, that was nine shots off the pace of leaders David Toms and Steve Stricker, whose rounds of 8-under 62 tied a championship scoring record held by Loren Roberts, Kirk Triplett and Brandt Jobe.
Regardless of score, it will be a memorable week in the shadow of one of the most historic college football programs in the nation. Prior to the start of Thursday’s first round, each player received a Notre Dame football jersey with their names on the back adorned with the No. 19 for the 2019 U.S. Senior Open.
McCoy is looking to join Marvin “Vinny” Giles and Tim Jackson as the only players earn low-amateur honors three times in the U.S. Senior Open.
While McCoy and Knapp led the 23-man amateur contingent, four other players had rounds of 2-over 72, including Ray Morton, Jay Gregory, Kevin King and Mark Mance. Tim Hogarth is one shot behind that with a 3-over 73 and tied for 101st.
Jeff Wilson, the reigning U.S. Senior Amateur champion, opened with 6-over 76.
Gary Nicklaus, the son of four-time U.S. Open champion Jack Nicklaus, shot a 2-under 68 with his famous father watching from outside the ropes. Nicklaus recently declared himself a professional for the second time in his career. A year ago, the younger Nicklaus qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.
Information from the USGA used in this report
ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Open
The U.S. Senior Open is one of 14 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.
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