Headline: Past MGA Player of the Year Doug Clapp Becomes First Entrant in the Country to Register for the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2017
|Doug Clapp has his eye set on qualifying for the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Salem Country Club.|
Norton, MA — Doug Clapp, 2013 Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year, has had his share of victories on the golf course.
The Walpole native and Old Sandwich GC member has been among the top of leaderboards in various MGA and regional events for more than a decade, and he’s had enough appearances in USGA Championships Propers to mirror the resume of some of the best amateur golfers in the region.
On Wednesday however, it was another type of victory that Clapp achieved that may have just laid the foundation for his next run at taking home a Championship title – as a low amateur anyways.
While away on a golf trip with friends in the Dominican Republic, the 49-year old Clapp became the first entrant in the country to register for the 38th playing of the U.S. Senior Open Championship, being held at Salem Country Club in Peabody later this summer.
“I was waiting for the first of our two foursomes to tee off,” said Clapp, who will be looking to compete in his 17th USGA Championship. “I thought the USGA was opening the registration sometime this week, so while I waited, I brought up the site on my phone and registered. I had no idea they had just opened it.”
Clapp’s entry was officially received at 9:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, according to the USGA’s Championship Communications Manager, Brian DePasquale.
As the first player to file his entry for the Championship on day one, Clapp ensured he’d be able to play at the 18-hole sectional qualifier at Kernwood Country Club in Salem on May 28, one of the 34 sectional qualifying sites and the closest to the Championship site at Salem CC, a mere five-mile distance between starter’s boxes.
“I wanted to be on top of it because I wanted to play at Kernwood in the qualifying, but I didn’t think I would be that on top of it” said Clapp.” “I’ve had some success there in the past.”
For Clapp, who won’t meet the age eligibility of 50 until 29 days before the start of the Championship Proper being held June 26-July 2, should he qualify, there was obvious reason to be on top of his “registry” game to ensure his spot at his desired sectional qualifier – the only one scheduled for his home state.
It was the same Kernwood course where Clapp finished runner up at the 2014 MGA Amateur Championship to John Kelly in a back and forth battle that the younger Kelly eventually won, 3 and 2. He found similar success in 2007, when he finished as the fifth lowest amateur in the three-day Championship after posting 70-70-76 (+6), four strokes behind the tournament’s low-amateur Bill Drohen.
“Happy Coincidence” proclaimed Clapp. “A chance to play my first USGA senior event in my own backyard was the only thing good about turning 50.”
While the task will be difficult, as each sectional qualifier usually only advances at most two players, Clapp will be in good company if he is able to make it to this year’s Championship. Yesterday alone, 2016 US Senior Open champion Gene Sauers, who is fully exempt this year, filed his entry on the first day. Other top professional and amateur golfers are expected to file their entries in the coming days.
Player registration opened on Wednesday, March 8 at 9:00 am and continues through Wednesday, May 10 at 5 p.m. EDT. To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4, or be a professional, and be 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
About the U.S. Senior Open Championship
The 38th U.S. Senior Open, which will be conducted June 26-July 2, 2017 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass., will feature a field of 156 of the world’s best professional and amateur senior golfers (over the age of 50). Players who are eligible to compete include Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, John Daly, Tom Lehman and Tom Watson. FOX and FS1 will provide live television coverage of all four rounds of the championship. Tickets are available now and all children 17 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
For more information on the Championship and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.2017ussenioropen.com.