US Senior Open of Golf 2013: Tee Times, Date and TV Schedule
The U.S. Senior Open marks the fourth of five major championships on the Champions Tour, and several recognizable names formerly on the PGA Tour headline the field.
Kenny Perry nearly won The Masters back in 2009, and now that he's fully committed to the Champions Tour, it didn't take the 52-year-old very long to find major glory. He won the Constellation Senior Players Championship on June 30 and consequently took the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup point standings.
There may not be as much money at stake in these majors, but the impending showcase at Omaha Country Club in Nebraska is a great opportunity to see what some of the game's legends still have left in the tank.
It's pretty clear Tom Watson will be a factor. The ageless wonder, like Perry, made the cut and finished tied for 38th at the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour last week. This is one of the two Champions Tour majors Watson hasn't won, and he'll look to add major No. 7 on this circuit.
That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and defending champion Roger Chapman will certainly do his best to be the fourth repeat winner in the event's history.
Let's take a look at when and where to catch the action when it gets underway Thursday, as well as some of the top groups to watch.
Note: All statistics and information, unless otherwise indicated, are courtesy of PGATour.com.
When: Thursday, July 11, to Sunday, July 14
Where: Omaha Country Club in Omaha, Neb.
Tee Times: First group is off at 7 a.m. CT. For a complete list of tee times for the first two rounds, visit Golfweek.com.
Purse: $2.6 million
TV Schedule (h/t PGA.com)
Thursday: ESPN2, 4-8 p.m. ET
Friday: ESPN2, 4-8 p.m. ET
Saturday: NBC, 3-6 p.m. ET
Sunday: NBC, 3-6 p.m. ET
Groups to Watch
Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Tom Watson
The supremely fit Langer might still fare decently on the PGA Tour, but he is enjoying a highly successful career to date on the Champions Tour, having won 18 tournaments and two majors.
In his first three years on this circuit, Langer won the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as player of the year. He even contended at The Masters at the beginning of the final day this year.
Interestingly, the last event Langer won on the European Tour was shared with his playing partner, Montgomerie. The two called off the darkness-suspended event after two playoff holes and agreed to share the win.
Monty has struggled with his game in recent years, though, and it appears his time on the Champions Tour is finally ready to begin after missing out on qualifying for the British Open at Muirfield. However, he does have some momentum from the Constellation Championship, where he tied for ninth.
U.S. Opens have always been a bit fickle for Watson, but his lone title during his younger days came in dramatic fashion with an all-time great, 71st-hole chip-in at Pebble Beach in 1982.
Watson is still an absolutely pure ball-striker, and though his putting has generally declined as his illustrious career has progressed, his final round at the Greenbrier consisted of just 23 putts.
Kenny Perry, Jeff Sluman and Eduardo Romero
The hype surrounding Perry was pretty well spelled out before, but this course sets up nicely for him and his superior length.
Perry's looping, full-extension swing almost exclusively leads to powerful draws, and it should work to his advantage on the back nine. No. 13 is a 312-yard par-four Perry can drive with the right conditions, and the same goes for the 319-yard 17th (h/t Eric Forrest of Examiner.com).
The closing hole's 450-yard length also won't be as formidable to Perry, though it will of course require precision. Considering the current shape of his game, it seems feasible Perry will contend here too.
Sluman hits it relatively far considering his smaller stature, but his true strengths are precise iron play and putting—he ranks in the top 25 in greens in regulation and strokes gained putting in 2013.
That's a great combination for the 55-year-old to notch his maiden Champions Tour major.
Not to be discounted is the less heralded Romero. He's only played two events this season, but he is a two-time Champions Tour major victor, and he won the U.S. Senior Open back in 2008.
John Cook, Fred Funk and Hale Irwin
At the opening event of the season, Cook survived a playoff to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship and backed it up with a joint third-place effort at his next event and another top 10 subsequently.
It's been a struggle for consistency since then, but he's still seventh in the points standings and could easily get hot in Omaha.
Which past champion is most likely to win?
Perhaps it's time for the 2009 U.S. Senior Open winner to add a fourth Champions Tour major trophy to his hardware collection.
The winningest Champions Tour golfer, with 45 career victories, is Irwin, and he has three U.S. Senior Open triumphs to match the three U.S. Open trophies he captured before the age of 50.
After starting 2013 with a top 10, though, Irwin has not finished there since. Having said that, he somehow gets his game up for this type of atmosphere almost every time, so don't count him out.
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