The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 6, 2014

U.S. Senior Open coming to Oak Tree National

EDMOND — The United States Golf Association knew what it was getting into when it awarded the 2014 U.S. Senior Open to Oak Tree National.

When the event begins July 10-13, it will be the fifth time since 2008 the USGA has conducted one of its national championships.

An overlying characteristic of golf in July in Oklahoma is blistering heat.

“At the end of the day, we review that as part of the test,” USGA vice president Dan Burton said on Monday. “It requires a certain level of fitness to play golf. You have to walk; it’s a walking sport. Lots of places in this country have the capacity to be very hot.

“The venue is really the most important thing. No place comes with everything being perfect. We’re more than happy to deal with the heat when we have a venue this spectacular and offers the examination this does. If it’s hot, it’s hot.”

Oak Tree National is hosting a major professional golf event for the third time in its history. The last was the 2006 Senior PGA Championship.

The Senior U.S. Open marks its second USGA national event. The last was the 1984 U.S. Amateur, won by Oak Tree National resident Scott Verplank.

Oak Tree National resident, and 1986 PGA champion, Bob Tway believes Oak Tree National is the ideal setting for a national championship.

He remembers the success the success of the 1988 PGA Championship at the venue as well as the Senior PGA Championship in 2006.

“That is because the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “Everyone loves golf around here. It’s just very popular.”

Triple-digit temperatures were part of the equation the last two times the USGA held events in central Oklahoma — the 2009 Men’s Amateur Public Links and the 2013 Women’s Amateur Public Links at Norman’s Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

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