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US Senior Open Golf - Omaha


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Omaha will be in the national golf community's spotlight this week with the US Senior Open Golf Championship (a major) being hosted by the Omaha Country Club. I have my tickets and will make the drive up for the weekend. I have an Omaha friend that took the entire week off so he could volunteer all 6 days he was so excited for this event. If you have never been to a major golf tournament, get out for one of the practice rounds Monday - Wednesday and take a camera as you will be able to get up close to create some great memories. And you will find most of the players receptive to signing autographs, if you are into that, until they get serious on Thursday.

 

Wednesday afternoon at 2:00, there is a special exhibition that will be interesting: Fred Funk and Hale Irwin will challenge former Heisman trophy-winner, Eric Crouch, and NFL running back, Danny Woodhead, in various golf skills. John Knicely from WOWT will emcee.

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Yeah, that'll be fun to watch. On TV for me though. But I did watch part of a qualifying event two weeks ago. It was at my local golf course, just four blocks from my house. I knew a couple of the guys playing in it. But they didn't come close to qualifying.

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I've been fortunate and attended several golf majors and it is customary that the local newspaper will have a 'fan guide' published to help get the lay of the land and tips on best viewing spots. I'll check the online OWH before I head up. With a 30% chance of rain Sunday, it looks like I'm going to go Saturday so I don't have to deal with any elements. I played the course as a guest many years ago (before the update) and I don't remember a lot about the round except for the small greens with a lot of undulations. I also remember that the course was hilly and I had a lot of uneven lies with the ball above and below my stance.

 

I'm hoping that Topekan Mark Elliott makes the weekend so I can follow him. He has an interesting back story as a good athlete; he played quarterback and baseball at Washburn and was drafted by the Dodgers. He made it as high as Class A and saw the writing on the wall that he wasn't going to advance higher (played in the minors with Oral Hershisher, Steve Sax, et al). He was totally burned out on baseball and needed a new sport to take his mind off of it and picked up a set of golf clubs in his late 20's and started playing when he returned to the area. In 3 years, he had studied the swing and made enough progress that he started giving lessons and was then hired to become one of the instructors at a golf academy in the Carolina's. Homesick, he accepted a job as an assistant coach on the Kansas State men's and women's golf teams and took over as head coach shortly after when the head coach resigned. He was voted Coach of the Year one time in the Big Eight for the turnaround he helped accomplish. Now he's a sports reporter/sports talk host on WIBW after he dabbled as a pro playing on mini-tours. He regained his amatuer status and has been playing Kansas Amatuer tournaments since - once qualifying as an alternate for the US Open but a spot didn't free up for him. I've played with him once and he is a fun guy to play a round with - his swing coach is Mike Schuchart out of Lincoln.

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Interesting article via the USGA:

 

Johnny Goodman is a member of an elite group of five players – including Bob Jones, Francis Ouimet, Jerry Travers and Chick Evans – who have won the U.S. Open Championship as an amateur. In the middle of a heat wave and in the throes of the Great Depression, Goodman would hoist the U.S. Open Trophy; in doing so he become the last amateur to win our national championship. His story is symbolic of tough times in America, but it also demonstrates that with hard work and perseverance anything is possible.

 

Johnny Goodman was born on Dec. 28, 1909, in South Omaha, Neb., to Lithuanian immigrants William and Rose Goodman. Goodman’s parents first settled in Pennsylvania but later moved to Omaha, where employment opportunities in stockyards and slaughterhouses were plentiful. Many Midwestern communities were composed of ethnic neighborhoods where families who shared common beliefs and customs could live together while adjusting to a new country.

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Interesting article via the USGA:

 

Johnny Goodman is a member of an elite group of five players – including Bob Jones, Francis Ouimet, Jerry Travers and Chick Evans – who have won the U.S. Open Championship as an amateur. In the middle of a heat wave and in the throes of the Great Depression, Goodman would hoist the U.S. Open Trophy; in doing so he become the last amateur to win our national championship. His story is symbolic of tough times in America, but it also demonstrates that with hard work and perseverance anything is possible.

 

Johnny Goodman was born on Dec. 28, 1909, in South Omaha, Neb., to Lithuanian immigrants William and Rose Goodman. Goodman’s parents first settled in Pennsylvania but later moved to Omaha, where employment opportunities in stockyards and slaughterhouses were plentiful. Many Midwestern communities were composed of ethnic neighborhoods where families who shared common beliefs and customs could live together while adjusting to a new country.

I just bought a book about Johnny Goodman. I'm about a chapter in, right now. Good stuff!

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They must have had a tough settup on the course. Nobody under -3 after day 1. LINK

 

Lots of big names at the top though. I think a lot of these guys were spending most of their round still trying to figure out how to attack the greens. It is so tough to come in soft enough to stay on when you have to it it 40 yards uphill to reach the green.

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They must have had a tough settup on the course. Nobody under -3 after day 1. LINK

 

Lots of big names at the top though. I think a lot of these guys were spending most of their round still trying to figure out how to attack the greens. It is so tough to come in soft enough to stay on when you have to it it 40 yards uphill to reach the green.

Was lucky enough to attend the 1st round today. I can't tell you how many times i saw a ball hit pin high today and take 1-2 big hops and land behind the green off the rough. You almost had to land the ball short but doing that means there is no roll as all the approach shots are into elevated greens.

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Seven has been the operative number so far at the 2013 U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club.

 

On Thursday, it was a record seven players sharing the first-round lead.

 

On Friday, it was a 7-under-par 63 posted by Michael Allen, one of those 18-hole front-runners, to grab a five-stroke advantage at the championship’s midway point. It’s the largest 36-hole margin in Senior Open history, surpassing the three-stroke lead held by four others. The 63 was one stroke off the championship’s 18-hole record, which Loren Roberts produced at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., seven years ago.

 

Allen’s two-round total of 130 (10 under) also shattered the 36-hole Senior Open mark of 133, held by eight players. His five-stroke lead is the largest in a senior major in 16 years, since Hale Irwin had a seven-shot lead in the 1997 Senior PGA Championship.

 

USGA

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Congrats to Kenny!

 

Two things that Kenny Perry loves are fast cars and fast greens.

 

On Sunday at Omaha Country Club, he got the fast greens, and given those conditions, he zoomed past the field at the 34th U.S. Senior Open like he was in a Ferrari.

 

He appears to have found a fifth gear the past three weeks.

 

Perry, 52, of Franklin, Ky., carded a 7-under-par 63 – matching the week’s low round and one off the championship record – on the 6,657-yard layout to complete a five-stroke victory over Fred Funk.

 

USGA

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