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Headline: Kernwood Country Club Prepares to Host Full Field of Qualifiers on May 24 Looking to Qualify for 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship
For Immediate Release: March 23, 2017
|Kernwood CC (top) will host a U.S. Senior Open qualifying round on May 24 as a prelude to the Championship Proper set for Salem CC later this summer.|
Norton, MA — Ahead of the much anticipated 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship taking place at Salem Country Club June 29-July 2, the USGA officially announced on Monday the sites of the 34 sectional qualifiers ahead of the 38th US Senior Open Championship Proper.
This year’s tournament marks the sixth USGA Championship to be held at the Peabody, Mass. club and the 57th overall to be contested in Massachusetts.
It’s only fitting that much like Bruce Fleisher did in 2001, the last time the U.S. Senior Open was held at Salem CC, whoever wins this year’s tournament will once again hoist the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy, a trophy named after the Bay State product considered America’s First Golf Hero, who famously tied Harry Vardon and Ted Ray after 72 holes at The Country Club in Brookline, putting America on the golfing map for the world to see.
It was following Ouimet’s famous match with the world’s greatest players that helped catapult participation in the game, with golf seeing three times the number of participants and an exponential growth in the number of golf courses built over the next decade, and much like the excitement that came from the play of the trophy’s namesake, the excitement for the return of the championship to the Commonwealth is also taking the area by storm.
It was announced on Monday that Kernwood Country Club, which most recently hosted the 2016 MGA Junior Amateur Championship, will play host to one of the 34 sectional qualifiers on Wednesday, May 24.
Additionally, at the time of the publication, there were only four remaining spots for the sectional qualifier at Kernwood, the opportunity for one or two players to earn a spot in the Championship Proper to compete against the game’s top senior professionals and amateur players who hold a Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 and are at least 50 years of age of the start of championship play.
“Kernwood is a fabulous qualifying site right around the corner from Salem Country Club and a wonderful Donald Ross design like Salem, so the fortunate qualifiers will be well prepared for the Championship,” said 2017 US Senior Open General Chairman, William Sheehan III. “Hopefully a local player will qualify at the site as happened in 2001 bringing in additional excitement to the Championship.”
While it was known amongst golf circles that Kernwood would in fact be hosting a sectional qualifier since registration for the event opened on March 8, given its proximity to the site of the Championship Proper, a mere five miles in distance, the interest has only increased as the event has slowly marched closer on the calendar.
Last week, Doug Clapp of Walpole and a former MGA Player of the Year was the first person in the country to register for the US Senior Open qualifiers. His choice of club? None other than Kernwood CC.
And while the official roster of which Massachusetts players won’t be published until the tee times come out in May, many MGA players have let us know they too have signed up to compete at the Kernwood qualifier, looking for their shot to advance to the Championship Proper.
In the USGA announcement, USGA Championship Committee chairman Stuart Francis said, “The U.S. Senior Open is senior golf’s most prestigious championship and we are pleased to return to New England and Salem Country Club, where the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy will be awarded for the first time since 2001,”
He added, “We are grateful for the support of state and regional golf associations, which allows sectional qualifying to be conducted across the nation.”
In addition to the Kernwood Country Club sectional qualifier, there are 33 additional qualifiers taking place across the United States between May 15 and June 12. California (5), Florida (3) and Texas (2) are all slated to host more than one sectional qualifier while 27 states in total will host a qualifier ahead of the Championship Proper later this season.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 annual amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.
The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf facility management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.