Headline: Tom Watson and Defending Champion Gene Sauers Lead Early Entries for 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2017

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Editor's Note: For the latest news on the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship, which will be held at Salem Country Club on June 26 to July 2, click here.

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Tom Watson (top) and Gene Sauers will headline the exempt field at the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship.

Peabody, MA — Officials from the 38th U.S. Senior Open Championship, conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA), recently announced that Tom Watson, an eight-time major professional champion, and defending champion Gene Sauers have filed entries as exempt players.

The 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship will be held at Salem Country Club, in Peabody, Mass, from June 26-July 2.

Watson, a three-time U.S. Senior Open runner-up, won the 1982 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. He also captured five Open Championships, conducted by The R&A, and two Masters Tournaments. Watson, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988, won 39 PGA Tour events. A winner of six senior major professional titles, Watson, 67, tied for 16th in the 2001 U.S. Senior Open when the championship was last held at Salem Country Club.

Sauers posted a one-stroke victory over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Billy Mayfair to win the 2016 U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club, in Columbus, Ohio. He made a 5-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to earn custody of the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy. Sauers, who finished as the U.S. Senior Open runner-up in 2014, won his first PGA Tour title in New England when he defeated Blaine McCallister in a playoff to claim the 1986 Bank of Boston Classic, held at Pleasant Valley Country Club, in Sutton, Mass.

Hale Irwin, the 1998 and 2000 U.S. Senior Open champion, also returns to Salem Country Club for a second Senior Open. He tied for 11th in 2001 as the defending champion. Irwin, 71, will be making his 22nd Senior Open appearance and is fourth all-time in that category. He is one of six players to have won three or more U.S. Opens, capturing the championship in 1974, 1979 and 1990. Irwin was enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

Bernhard Langer, the 2010 U.S. Senior champion, and Irwin are tied for second on the all-time list with seven senior major professional titles. Langer, who also is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, owns 30 PGA Tour Champions victories. He won the Masters Tournament in 1985 and 1993 and posted 42 PGA European Tour wins.

Olin Browne (2011), Roger Chapman (2012), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014) and Kenny Perry (2013) are also fully exempt as U.S. Senior Open champions and have entered this year’s championship. Montgomerie, who was a U.S. Open runner-up three times, won the PGA European Tour Order of Merit eight times and played on eight European Ryder Cup teams. He has won three senior major professional championships.

Tickets can be purchased through the U.S. Senior Open website at www.2017ussenioropen.com or call 978-818-6006. A daily championship round gallery ticket is $50 and a weekly gallery ticket is $125.

The championship provides free admission to all youths 17 and under who are accompanied by a ticketed adult. The front row of every grandstand is reserved for children. All ticket holders receive complimentary parking with shuttle service to the championship.

ABOUT THE U.S. SENIOR OPEN
The 38th U.S. Senior Open to be held 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, 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 youths 17 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.

ABOUT SALEM COUNTRY CLUB
Salem Country Club, established in 1895 in Salem, Mass., came to its current site in Peabody in 1925. Designed by Donald Ross, it has been ranked as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” by Golf Digest, and its 13th hole is considered one of the best par-4s in the world. Salem has served as host to five national championships - 1932 U.S. Women's Amateur, 1954 U.S. Women's Open, 1977 U.S. Senior Amateur, 1984 U.S. Women's Open and 2001 U.S. Senior Open.

In 2015, Ron Forse completed a restoration project, designed to return its strategic character. The project focused on returning all of the greens complexes to the design and dimensions originally created by Ross in 1925, and it also included the removal of more than 500 trees.

ABOUT THE USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. 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 working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.

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