Twelve past champions are among the 2,796 entries that the USGA accepted for the 40th U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for June 27-30 at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
A total of 79 players are currently exempt into the championship.
David Toms, the 2018 champion, and 11 other Senior Open champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Olin Browne (2011), Brad Bryant (2007), Roger Chapman (2012), Fred Funk (2009), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Bernhard Langer (2010), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014), Kenny Perry (2013, 2017) and Gene Sauers (2016).
“The worldwide interest in the U.S. Senior Open, considered senior golf’s most prestigious championship, continues to remain at a high level and the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame will provide a strong test for a competitive field,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director for Championships. “The USGA is excited to bring the U.S. Senior Open to the Michiana region and we look forward to awarding the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy to the champion.”
The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Sectional qualifying was played over 18 holes at 34 sites across the United States between May 13 and June 10.
The USGA accepted entries from golfers in 48 states, including 56 from Indiana, and the District of Columbia, as well as 32 foreign countries. More than 2,700 entries were filed in five of the last seven years. The record for entries was established in 2002, when 3,101 golfers applied to play.
In addition, there are seven U.S. Open champions among the 79 exempt players. They are: three-time champion Irwin (1974, 1979, 1990), two-time champion Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), two-time champion Retief Goosen (2001, 2004), Michael Campbell (2005), Tom Kite (1992), Corey Pavin (1995) and Tom Watson (1982). There are also eight U.S. Open runners-up entered. They are: Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000), Tom Lehman (1996), Davis Love III (1996), Rocco Mediate (2008), Montgomerie (1994, 1997, 2006), Loren Roberts (1994), Jeff Sluman (1992) and Watson (1983, 1987).
Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame will be the first collegiate course to host a U.S. Senior Open. This will be the 19th USGA championship held on a college-affiliated layout and the 2019 U.S. Senior Open will be the 22nd USGA championship contested in Indiana.