The very first Senior Golf Open was played in New York in June of 1980 at the Winged Foot Golf Club on the East Course. It was established because of the interest of senior golfers who wanted to compete on an amateur and professional level. The very first Senior Open had six hundred and thirty-one entries. At this time, the senior golfer had to be at least fifty-five years of age the day of the tournament. Some of the former champions competed in the first Senior Golf Open such as William Campbell, Tommy Bolt, Jack Fleck, Ed Furgol and Lew Worsham.
The winner of the first Senior Golf Open was Roberto De Vicenzo while William Campbell was in second place. The age limit was lowered to fifty just one year later to allow for more participants in the tournament. Arnold Palmer went onto win the second Senior Open at the age of fifty-one in Michigan. Miller Barber won the Senior Open in 1982, which was just one of his three wins for a Senior Open. The other two wins were for 1984 and 1985. As of 2002, there were a little over three thousand entries for the Senior Golf Open.
In 2006, Allen Doyle became the new oldest winner of the Senior Open at the age of fifty-seven, eleven months, seventeen days. The oldest winner before that was De Vicenzo at the age of fifty-seven years, two months and fifteen days. Don Pooley won his way into the Senior Golf Open by qualifying and went onto win the tournament in 2002.
Today, you will see only a three or four hole playoff if needed were in the past it used to be four playoffs of eighteen holes. There have only been a few times in the Senior Open history of a playoff occurring, once in 1981, 1983, 1988 and 1991 with the winners being Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Gary Player and Jack Nicholas respectfully.
In 2007, the Senior Open was played at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin where senior golf player Brad Bryant won the Championship. He had winnings of four hundred and seventy thousand dollars to take home with him. He did share his revenue with his caddies Tony Smith. The golf course designed Pete Dye was designed to attract PGA tournaments in the future. It proved to be a tricky course that is considered rugged terrain that does not have golf cart abilities.
If you want a chance to watch the U.S. Senior Open when it comes to your town, you can buy advance tickets, walk around with your favorite players, and see how they fair in the tournament. Some of the courses they play are set up according to the guidelines established for the tours. This is just another way to see how the pros do it and how they apply different stances and what clubs they use to get distance and win the game. It is always a spectacular event for any city and golf course when the Senior Open comes to town.