The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that it has accepted 2,999 entries for the 41st U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for July 8-11, 2021 at Omaha Country Club.
Twelve past champions are among the 84 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.
Kenny Perry, the 2013 and 2017 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), Bernhard Langer (2010), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014), Don Pooley (2002), Eduardo Romero (2008), Gene Sauers (2016) and David Toms (2018).
“The USGA is pleased that the number of entries and worldwide interest in the U.S. Senior Open remains consistently high,” said USGA senior managing director, Championships John Bodenhamer. “We are excited to bring senior golf’s most prestigious championship to the City of Omaha and Nebraska for a second time and we look forward to awarding the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy to another worthy champion.”
This year’s total number of entries is the third-highest in championship history. The record was established in 2002, when 3,101 golfers applied to play.
The USGA accepted entries from golfers in all 50 states, including 22 from host state Nebraska, as well as the District of Columbia and 41 foreign countries.
The USGA has also awarded a special exemption into the 41st U.S. Senior Open to two-time Masters Tournament champion Jose Maria Olazabal, of Spain.
Olazabal, 55, won the Masters in 1994 and 1999 and has recorded six PGA Tour and 23 European Tour victories. He played in 18 U.S. Opens and his best finish was a tie for eighth in both 1990 and 1991. Olazabal, who will compete in his first U.S. Senior Open, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.
The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 who are at least 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 34 sites across the United States between May 17 and June 14. There are qualifying sites in 27 states, including five in California, three in Florida and two in Texas.
Additional places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events in the weeks remaining before the 2021 U.S. Senior Open.
There are also six U.S. Open champions among the 84 exempt players. They include two-time champions Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004) and Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), as well as Jim Furyk (2003), Michael Campbell (2005) and Corey Pavin (1995). Seven U.S. Open runners-up are also entered: Els (2000), Furyk (2006, 2007, 2016), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000), Tom Lehman (1996), Rocco Mediate (2008), Montgomerie (1994, 1997, 2006) and Jeff Sluman (1992).
Chris Germann, a 58-year-old amateur from Austin, Texas, submitted his entry four minutes before the deadline of 5 p.m. on May 12. Doug Clapp, a 53-year-old amateur from Walpole, Mass., was the first entrant on February 24.
Omaha Country Club will become the seventh course to host the U.S. Senior Open Championship twice. The club was the host site in 2013 when Perry won the first of his two Senior Open titles. This will be the fourth USGA championship held in Nebraska.