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The United States Golf Association announced it has accepted 2,525 entries for the U.S. Senior Open to be played at Inverness Club July 28-31.
Currently, 78 of the applicants are exempt from qualifying. Among them are 13 past champions, including the defender, Bernhard Langer, and the winner of this event in 2003 at Inverness, Bruce Lietzke.
The number could grow as additional exempt spots are reserved for winners of PGA Champions Tour events between now and the start of the Senior Open.
The remainder of the 156-player field will be filled through sectional qualifying tournaments at 35 sites nationally between June 20 and July 1.
The closest of those qualifiers will be at Sycamore Hills in Fort Wayne, Ind., on June 20; Pine Lake CC in Orchard Lake, Mich., on June 28, and Wedgewood Golf, and CC in Powell, Ohio on June 30.
To be eligible, a player must be at least 50 years old on or before July 28. Amateur applicants must have no higher than a 3.4 USGA handicap index.
The USGA said applications were received from 49 states (all except North Dakota), the District of Columbia and 17 foreign nations — Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Paraguay, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, and Thailand.
EXEMPT PAST CHAMPIONS: Brad Bryant (2007), Dale Douglass (1986), Allen Doyle (2005-06), Dave Eichelberger (1999), Bruce Fleisher (2001), Fred Funk (2009), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Bernhard Langer (2010), Bruce Lietzke (2003), Graham Marsh (1997), Don Pooley (2002), Eduardo Romero (2008).
OTHER EXEMPT PLAYERS: Michael Allen, Tommy Armour III, Paul Azinger, Phil Blackmar, Mark Brooks, Olin Browne, Mark Calcavecchia, Russ Cochran, John Cook, Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, David Eger.
Keith Fergus, Dan Forsman, Angel Franco, David Frost, Bob Gilder, Michael Goodes, Jay Haas, Gary Hallberg, Scott Hoch, John Huston, (a) Tim Jackson, Tom Jenkins, Steve Jones, Tom Kite, Masahiro Kuramoto.
Tom Lehman, J.L. Lewis, Steve Lowery, Chien-Soon Lu, Mark McNulty, Larry Mize, John Morse, Kiyoshi Murota, Larry Nelson, Lonnie Nielsen, Mark O’Meara, Naomichi Ozaki.
Jerry Pate, Corey Pavin, David Peoples, Tom Pernice, Nick Price, Tom Purtzer, Dana Quigley, Michael Reid, Loren Roberts, Boonchu Ruangkit.
Ted Schulz, Peter Senior, Scott Simpson, (a) Paul Simson, Joey Sindelar, Jeff Sluman, Rod Spittle, Craig Stadler, Hal Sutton, (a) Patrick Tallent, Bob Tway, Bruce Vaughan, D.A. Weibring, Mark Wiebe, Christopher Williams, Fuzzy Zoeller.
(a) – denotes amateur.
SECTIONAL QUALIFYING: June 20 – Sycamore Hills, Fort Wayne, Ind.
June 21 – Bay Club, Mattapoisett, Mass.; Woodmore CC, Mitchellville, Md.
June 23 – Bonnie Briar CC, Larchmont, N.Y.; Golden Horseshoe GC, Williamsburg, Va.
June 27 – Arrowhead CC, Glendale, Ariz.; Fairbanks Ranch CC, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Corral de Tierra CC, Salinas, Calif.; Saticoy CC, Somis, Calif.; Gainesville CC, Gainesville, Fla.; St. Ives CC, Johns Creek, Ga.; Sunset CC, St. Louis; Greensboro CC, Greensboro, N.C.; Seven Oaks GC, Hamilton, N.Y.; Ridglea CC, Fort Worth; Dearwood CC, Kingwood, Tex.
June 28 – Musgrove CC, Jasper, Ala.; Peach Tree CC, Marysville, Calif.; Goose Creek GC, Mira Loma, Calif.; The Legacy, Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Pearl CC, Aiea, Hawaii; Pine Lake CC, Orchard Lake, Mich.; Florence CC, Florence, S.C.
June 29 – Wynstone GC, North Barrington, Ill.; CC of Loch Lloyd, Loch Lloyd, Mo.; Tanoan CC, Albuquerque, N.M.; Belle Meade, Nashville; Bear Creek CC, Woodinville, Wash.
June 30 – Rolling Hills CC, Golden, Colo.; Northfork Links, Ramsey, Minn.; Wedgewood CC, Powell, Ohio; Butler CC, Butler, Pa.; Tripoli CC, Milwaukee.
July 1 – Dunedin CC, Dunedin, Fla.; Tualatin CC, Tualatin, Ore.