Blaine, Wash. (Monday, July 5) – 72 players began the day competing at Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club for two spots into the U.S. Senior Open in a unique year where the championship will be played just down the freeway at Sahalee Country Club in Samammish, Wash.
Jeff Thomsen a very accomplished player/instructor from Boise, Idaho led the field with a 2-under par 70 on the 6903 yard, par 72 layout. On a day where scores seemed unusually high, Thomsen made it look easy with a single bogey on the par-4 2nd hole and three birdies coming on holes 1,2 and 11. Thomsen is a Boise native who was a 2-time All-American at Arizona State University before turning professional in 1976. After stints on the Australian/New Zealand, European PGA, and Asian PGA Tours, Thomsen found his home on the PGA Tour from 1979-1982 where he played 55 events. In his career, Thomsen has played in four Major Championships including the ’78 British Open, ’83 U.S. Open, and the ’90 and ’98 (Sahalee Country Club) PGA Championships.
Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. was the low amateur in the field and claimed the second qualifying spot after a solid round of even par 72 which included three birdies on holes 1, 13 and 16 and three bogeys on holes 3, 6, and 18. Brandes who has been a career amateur is becoming a very familiar face around this championship qualifier as he lost in a playoff for first alternate in 2007, lost in a playoff for the final qualifying spot in 2008, was then medalist in 2009 and went on to play the U.S. Senior Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana and now qualified for the 2010 Championship as well.
Thomsen and Brandes will round out the field of 156 of the world’s best professional and amateur senior (over the age of 50) golfers who will compete in the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club in Samammish, Wash., July 29 – August 1. Featured players expected to compete include: Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Tom Lehman, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Corey Pavin, Nick Price, and Mark O’Meara. NBC and ESPN will provide more than 16 hours of television coverage of the championship. For additional information about the championship, visit www.2010ussenioropen.com.
Gary Lindeblad of Spokane, Wash. and Jim Pike of Maple Valley, Wash. and the PGA Golf Professional at Sahalee Country Club, both posted rounds of 2-over par 74 and had a playoff to determine who would receive the first and second alternate positions. After both making par on the first playoff hole, Lindeblad sunk a long birdie putt on the par-4 second hole to secure the first alternate position.
There were 42 qualifying sites across the U.S. where anyone who is 50 or older and has a USGA Handicap Index of 3.4 or lower (or be a professional) can earn one of 77 non-exempt spots in the 156-player field. This year the USGA accepted 2,366 entries.
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the USA and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses.
The Association’s 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.