Both players will round out the field of 156 of the world’s best professional and amateur senior golfers (over the age of 50) who will compete in the 2012 U.S. Senior Open Championship, which will be played at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. from July 12-15.
Phillips and Daniels were among 51 players competing in the sectional qualifier, held in uncharacteristically cold and windy conditions on the 6,639 yard par-72 layout.
Phillips was first to post his round of 72 which included two birdies on holes 1 and 3 and bogeys on holes 13 and 17. The bogey on the short 314-yard 13th hole came after Phillips called a one-stroke penalty on himself when his ball moved on the green after he had addressed it. In the scoring area Phillips said, “I thought that penalty might cost me a trip to the Senior Open and neither of my fellow competitors saw the ball move but I knew that it did and had to call the penalty on myself.” The only other bogey on his card came on the 194-yard par-3 17th hole which played the second toughest of the day.
Daniels’ scorecard was relatively clean as well, with just two bogeys offsetting his two birdies. The birdies came on the 160-yard 4th hole and the 314-yard 13th hole, while the bogeys came at the 386-yard par-4 5th and the 422-yard par-4 15th.
Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash., Jeff Shaw of Seattle, Wash., Scott Taylor of Monroe, Wash., Tom Hale of Lakewood, Wash., and Leo Yi of Sammamish, Wash. all narrowly missed the qualifying mark of even-par 72, posting rounds of 1-over par 73 to get into a playoff for the 1st and 2nd alternate positions. Brandes claimed the 1st position after making birdie on the 335 yard par-4 1st hole, while Shaw claimed the 2nd position with a par on the 410 yard par-4 2nd hole.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that 2,479 golfers entered to play in the 2012 championship. Eleven past champions, including Hale Irwin, are among the 75 players currently fully exempt into the championship proper. That list also includes such golf greats as Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Nick Price.
The championship is open to professional and amateur golfers who are age 50 and over, and hold a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 3.4 as of July 12. This year, sectional qualifying will take place at 34 sites across the United States from June 14-28. For the second year in a row, only online entries were accepted.
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the U.S. and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses. Its most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association and conducts this Qualifying tournament for the United States Senior Open Championship.