U.S. Open Coming to Southern Hills

The 101st playing of the U.S. Open will commence June 14-17 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As usual, the event will bring together the world’s best golfers, who will assuredly be tested in a competitive cauldron unlike any other in the game. Defending champion and pre-tournament favorite, Tiger Woods, will be on hand, along with 155 other players.

The U.S. Open Championship is open to any professional or amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4. The 156-player field includes golfers who’ve made it through Local and Sectional qualifying held at 100 sites around the U.S. The final field is comprised of place-winners in the 13 Sectional Qualifying Rounds and those exempt (58 this year) from both the Local and Sectional Qualifying Rounds. In 2001, there were a remarkable 8,298 golfers who attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Southern Hills has been the site of several major golf events over the years. Opened for play in 1936, the Perry Maxwell design has proven to be a worthy arena for top-echelon golf tournaments. As usual, the venue will be toughened up for the 2001 U.S. Open, where it will play to a par 70 and stetch 6,973 yards.

Seven previous USGA championships have been held at Southern Hills, including two U.S. Opens (1958 and 1977, won by Tommy Bolt and Hubert Green, respectively). In addition, the course hosted the 1946 U.S. Women’s Amateur (won by Babe Zaharias); the 1953 USGA Junior Amateur (Rex Baxter); 1961 U.S. Senior Amateur (Dexter Daniels); 1965 U.S. Amateur (Bob Murphy); and 1987 USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur (Cindy Schofield).

The association will be assisted in staging the 2001 U.S. Open with the help of 4,200 volunteers, club members and USGA officials. Unfortunately, tickets for the event are sold out. However, tickets may be purchased for the 2002 U.S. Open, to be held at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, June 13-16, through the USGA website. Click on www.usga.org for details.