Next Stop on the Wei Under Tour: the US Senior Open at Sahalee
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

I’m heading to the great Northwest tomorrow evening (Wednesday) just in time to watch a bunch of geezers tee off on Thursday for the 2010 US Senior Open at Sahalee. As some of you know, I grew up in the Seattle area and about 20 minutes from the course, so I figured I’d make the trip to visit my family and to cover the tournament. Oh, and to stalk watch Fred Couples play in front of a hometown crowd — Freddie also is a native of Seattle and a fan favorite.

Like 33 players in the field, I attended the ’98 PGA Championship at Sahalee. In fact, it was the first pro tournament I went to. It was also the first time I saw Tiger Woods play, curse and throw clubs — which was actually pretty traumatizing for my 15-year-old self. It’s not that such behavior was so shocking, but it was coming from someone who I thought walked on water.

In related news, I was the lucky recipient of Tiger’s ball after he stormed off the course in the third round. I just happened to be standing behind the 18th green when Tiger’s former caddie, Mike “Fluff” Cowan, was trying to pass off the ball. A group of younger boys were standing nearer to him and it bounced back to Fluff on the first try. Same thing on the next attempt. By that point, he was closer to me and the ball hopped right in my hands the third time around.

Meanwhile, as Ryan Ballengee over at Waggle Room pointed out, this is the second major in consecutive weeks for the 50+ crew and a scheduling blip. The traveling distance between last week’s Senior British Open at Carnoustie and Sahalee is 4,422 miles. There’s also an eight-hour time difference. Surely these guys are used to overcoming jetlag, but it’s still quite the trip, especially for senior citizens. I mean, at my ripe age of 27, I’m still recovering from jetlag after St. Andrews. (I know, poor me!)

Alright, here’s some info on the tournament courtesy of the USGA.

*Sahalee Country Club will be set up at 6,866 yards and will play to a par of 35-35–70. The South Course will be used for the front nine, while the North Course will be used for the back nine.

*The fairways, on average, will be 26 yards wide. On either side of the fairways, a 6-foot-wide swath of intermediate rough running the length of each hole will be set to 1.5 inches. Then, an 8-foot-wide band of first cut of primary rough will be grown to 2.5 inches. The balance of the rough (secondary cut) will be 4 inches. Putting greens will measure 12 feet on the Stimpmeter.

Date                Network          Broadcast Hours (EDT)
July 29             ESPN2             5-9 p.m.
July 30             ESPN2             5-9 p.m.
July 31             NBC                4-7 p.m.
Aug. 1              NBC                4-7 p.m.

*The players who competed in the ’98 PGA Championship with their finishes:

Tommy Armour III (MC)
Phil Blackmar (MC)
Olin Browne (T62)
Mark Calcavecchia (T44)
Russ Cochran (T34)
John Cook (9)
Fred Couples (T13)
Ben Crenshaw (MC)
Trevor Dodds (T62)
Bob Ford (MC)
David Frost (T56)
Fred Funk (T23)
Jay Haas (T40)
Tom Kite (MC)
Tom Lehman (T29)
Larry Mize (MC)
David Ogrin (T44)
Mark O’Meara (T4)
Joe Ozaki (T44)
Corey Pavin (MC)
Nick Price (T4)
Loren Roberts (T65)
Eduardo Romero (MC)
Scott Simpson (MC)
Joey Sindelar (T40)
Jeff Sluman (T27)
Craig Stadler (T38)
Hal Sutton (T27)
Eddie Terasa (MC)
Jeff Thomsen (MC)
Bob Tway (T13)
Tom Watson (MC)

Mark Wiebe (MC)

*Tee Times for the first two rounds (all times PST). [Ed note: Great news — Couples and Watson are playing together!]

Thursday (July 29), hole #1 – Friday (July 30), hole #10
7:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Jerry Johnson, Ocean Shores, Wash.; A-Martin Rifkin, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Kim Dolan, Las Vegas, Nev.
7:25 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. — Mike Diffley, Pelham Manor, N.Y.; A-James Ferguson, Hilton Head, S.C.; Jay Norman, White Bear Lake, Minn.
7:35 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. — Javier Sanchez, Fayetteville, Ga.; Rod Nuckolls, Wichita, Kan.; James Rutledge, Canada
7:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. — Tom Lehman, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Hal Sutton, Shreveport, La.; Paul Azinger, Bradenton, Fla.
7:55 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. — Brad Bryant, Lakeland, Fla.; Michael Allen, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Chien Soon Lu, Chinese Taipei
8:05 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. — Tom Pernice Jr, Murrieta, Calif.; Jeff Sluman, Hinsdale, Ill.; John Cook, Orlando, Fla.
8:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.– Bob Ford, Oakmont, Pa.; Mark Johnson, Helendale, Calif.; Jim Roy, Syracuse, N.Y.
8:25 a.m. – 1:40 p.m. — Michael Reid, Westminster, Md.; A-Tim Jackson, Germantown, Tenn.; Don Pooley, Tucson, Ariz.
8:35 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. — R. W. Eaks, Fountain Hills, Ariz.; John Jacobs, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Tom Jenkins, Austin, Texas
8:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. — Robin Freeman, La Quinta, Calif.; Gene Jones, Braselton, Ga.; Phil Blackmar, Corpus Christi, Texas
8:55 a.m. – 2:10 p.m. — A-Casey Boyns, Pacific Grove, Calif.; Bill Sautter, Warrington, Pa.; Jerry Courville, Westport, Conn.
9:05 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. — A-Dan Bieber, Alamo, Calif.; Mark Houser, Kingsport, Tenn.; A-Dave Massey, Scottsdale, Ariz.
9:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. — Dale Tallon, Lake Forest, Ill.; A-Scott Sullivan, Grand Junction, Colo.; Steve Krause, Hales Corners, Wis.

Thursday (July 29), hole #10 – Friday (July 30), hole #1
7:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — A-Kevin Klier, Colbert, Wash.; Eddie Terasa, Waukesha, Wis.; Dave Bell, Canada
7:25 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. — Gary Sowinski, San Diego, Calif.; A-Chris Lange, Bryn Mawr, Pa.; John Paesani, Colchester, Conn.
7:35 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. — David Ogrin, New Braunfels, Texas; John Adams, Paris, Texas; South Smith, Scottsdale, Ariz.
7:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. — Tom Watson, Westwood, Kan.; Eduardo Romero, Argentina; Fred Couples, La Quinta, Calif.
7:55 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. — Tom Kite, Austin, Texas; Loren Roberts, Memphis, Tenn.; Ben Crenshaw, Austin, Texas
8:05 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. — Joey Sindelar, Horseheads, N.Y.; Naomichi Ozaki, Japan; David Frost, South Africa
8:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — J. L. Lewis, Austin, Texas; Wayne Levi, Naples, Fla.; Mike Hulbert, Orlando, Fla.
8:25 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.– D. A. Weibring, Dallas, Texas; Tommy Armour III, Las Colinas, Texas; Morris Hatalsky, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
8:35 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. — Allen Doyle, LaGrange, Ga.; Graham Marsh, Australia; Dale Douglass, Castle Rock, Colo.
8:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. — Bruce Vaughan, Hutchinson, Kan.; TBD; James Mason, Dillard, Ga.
8:55 a.m. – 2:10 p.m. — A-Ken Palladino, Dunedin, Fla.; Ron Ptacek, Boise, Idaho; A-Doug Harris, Franklin, Tenn.
9:05 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. — A-Pat Thompson, Asheville, N.C.; Stacey Hart, Ft. Worth, Texas; A-Mark Nickeas, Westlake Village, Calif.
9:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. — Patrick Diesu, Melbourne Beach, Fla.; A-Tommy Robinson, Grayslake, Ill.; Gary McClure, Independence, Mo.

Thursday (July 29), hole #1 – Friday (July 30), hole #10
12:30 p.m. – 7:15 a.m. Richard Parker Jr., Lebanon, N.H.; A-Pete Williams, Juno Beach, Fla.; Rick Lewallen, Kannapolis, N.C.
12:40 p.m. – 7:25 a.m. — A-Tom Brandes, Bellevue, Wash.; Tim Parun, San Diego, Calif.; A-Steven Moran, Seabrook, Texas
12:50 p.m. – 7:35 a.m. — Jay Haas, Greer, S.C.; Nick Price, Zimbabwe; Hale Irwin, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
1:00 p.m. – 7:45 a.m. — Peter Jacobsen, Bonita Springs, Fla.; A-Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va.; Fred Funk, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
1:10 p.m. – 7:55 a.m. — Mark O’Meara, Windermere, Fla.; Larry Mize, Columbus, Ga.; Fuzzy Zoeller, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
1:20 p.m. – 8:05 a.m. — Scott Simpson, San Diego, Calif.; A-George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa.; Gil Morgan, Edmond, Okla.
1:30 p.m. – 8:15 a.m. — Denis Watson, Zimbabwe; Curt Byrum, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Gary Hallberg, Castle Rock, Colo.
1:40 p.m. – 8:25 a.m. — Tsukasa Watanabe, Japan; Glenn Ralph, England; Mark Wiebe, Denver, Colo.
1:50 p.m. – 8:35 a.m. — Jeff Thomsen, Boise, Idaho; Ron Vlosich, Lakewood, Colo.; Lindy Miller, Fort Worth, Texas
2:00 p.m. – 8:45 a.m. — Mike Donald, Hollywood, Fla.; Trevor Dodds, Namibia; John Morse, Marshall, Mich.
2:10 p.m. – 8:55 a.m. — Rod Spittle, Canada; Robert Niger, El Dorado Hills, Calif.; A-Thomas Herzan, Findlay, Ohio
2:20 p.m. – 9:05 a.m. — Michael Paul, Reno, Nev.; A-James Stormont Jr, Atlanta, Ga.; Timothy Matthews, Scotts, Mich.
2:30 p.m. – 9:15 a.m. — Mike Lawrence, Easley, S.C.; A-Tom Norton, Muscatine, Iowa; Ralph West, Avondale, Ariz.

Thursday (July 29), hole #10 – Friday (July 30), hole #1
12:30 p.m. – 7:15 a.m. — Ned Weaver, New Castle, Pa.; A-Mike Booker, The Woodlands, Texas; Tom Cleaver, Boca Raton, Fla.
12:40 p.m. – 7:25 a.m. — A-Rick Ten Broeck, Chicago, Ill.; A-Dirk Maust, Phoenix, Ariz.; Thomas Brannen, Augusta, Ga.
12:50 p.m. – 7:35 a.m. — Jon Fiedler, Camarillo, Calif.; Lawrence Stubblefield, Kailua, Hawaii; Bill Britton, Rumson, N.J.
1:00 p.m. – 7:45 a.m. — Mark Calcavecchia, Phoenix, Ariz.; Corey Pavin, Dallas, Texas; Bernhard Langer, Germany
1:10 p.m. – 7:55 a.m. — Bob Tway, Edmond, Okla.; Dan Forsman, Provo, Utah; Peter Senior, Australia
1:20 p.m. – 8:05 a.m. — Craig Stadler, Evergreen, Colo.; A-John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas; Keith Fergus, Houston, Texas
1:30 p.m. – 8:15 a.m. — Dave Eichelberger, Honolulu, Hawaii; Bruce Fleisher, Greenville, S.C.; Bob Gilder, Corvallis, Ore.
1:40 p.m. – 8:25 a.m. — Russ Cochran, Paducah, Ky.; Michael Goodes, Reidsville, N.C.; Olin Browne, Tequesta, Fla.
1:50 p.m. – 8:35 a.m. — Andy Bean, Lakeland, Fla.; Bobby Wadkins, Richmond, Va.; Tom Purtzer, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2:00 p.m. – 8:45 a.m. — Jeffrey Roth, Farmington, N.M.; Jim Chancey, Kissimmee, Fla.; Mitch Adams, Cary, N.C.
2:10 p.m. – 8:55 a.m. — Jeff Klein, Scottsbluff, Neb.; Jeff Hart, Solana Beach, Calif.; Scott Mahlberg, San Diego, Calif.
2:20 p.m. – 9:05 a.m. — Kenneth Lacy, Mullens, W.Va.; A-Mark Battista, Rancho Mirage, Calif.; Tom Bryant, Natchez, Miss.
2:30 p.m. – 9:15 a.m. — A/R-Pat Laverty, Las Vegas, Nev.; A-Steven Hudson, Birmingham, Ala.; Tim Walton, Centerville, Ohio