Colin Montgomerie and Fred Couples are among the latest entries for the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club.
Other exempt players whose entries were announced at Monday’s media day were past Senior Open champions Don Pooley (2002), Brad Bryant (2007), Eduardo Romero (2008), Fred Funk (2009) and Olin Browne (2011). Larry Nelson, the 1983 U.S. Open champion, also will be in the field for the July 11-to-14 championship.
When mentioning Couples, United State Golf Association official Tim Flaherty said, “He can be forgetful sometimes. So we’re glad he got it in the mail.”
OCC terrain, sand impress W-H staffers
Hilly terrain and “Caribbean-esque” sand were among the features of Omaha Country Club that caught the eyes of World-Herald staff members who were playing the course Monday for the first time.
“The course looks easier than it is,” LiveWellNebraska Editor Randi Stevenson said. “The rough is long and, let me tell you, it is thick. I got an arm workout from hitting out of it so much.”
Brian Norton, an online sports editor, said he wasn’t expecting OCC’s hills and “how they come into play. The lies are always above or below your feet. It makes it a lot harder.”
Stevenson, who played on her high school’s golf team in California, said the bunker sand reminded her of that found on Caribbean beaches.
Deputy Sports Editor Nick Piastowski, whose 82 was the best score among The World-Herald staff, said he never had played on greens that rolled truer.
“The pros are going to love them,” he said. “It’s going to take an accurate hitter and a good iron player to be the winner.”
The World-Herald crew succeeded in matching OCC’s normal par of 71 on Monday — only by counting the best score made on each hole. Sports writer Dirk Chatelain had the only birdie, hitting a wedge to 3 feet on the par-5 10th hole. That hole will be a par-4 for the tournament.
Grand Island girl wins poster contest
Fifth-grader Courtney Toner of Grand Island had her artwork selected from more than 300 entries to be the official poster of the 2013 U.S. Senior Open.
Three of her cousins from Omaha — Grant (first grade) and Drew Niemann (second grade), who are brothers, and Ellie Niemann (third grade) — were grade-level winners. Other winners were Jett Smeal of Omaha, kindergarten; Gracie Kerr of Omaha, fourth grade; and Anna Boor of Omaha, sixth grade.
Courtney received a $5,000 college savings plan contribution, with the remaining winners given $529 apiece. Her design of a golf ball on a tee, against sun rays on the horizon, will be on the poster sold at the course during championship week.
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