U.S. Senior Open: A fan’s guide

Chicken Ranch Slough, center, slices past the 18th green, left, and comes into play on six holes of the Del Paso Country Club layout.
Chicken Ranch Slough, center, slices past the 18th green, left, and comes into play on six holes of the Del Paso Country Club layout.

Have you ever been to a professional golf tournament? Are you headed out to watch the US Senior Open June 22-28, 2015, at Del Paso Country Club? How much are tickets, if still available? Can I bring snacks? My dog? Where should I sit? Or will you be watching on TV? What channel is it on? Here is everything you need to know to make your experience more enjoyable and informative.


The first tee times are approximately 7 a.m. each day; gates open 6:30 a.m.

Monday: Practice rounds

Tuesday: Practice rounds; junior exhibition

Wednesday: Practice rounds; military and public safety day

Thursday: First round

Friday: Second round

Saturday: Third round

Sunday: Final round

TV: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., FS1; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Ch. 40


The tree-canopied grandstand to the right of the 10th green: Run, don’t walk, if it’s expected to be warm because it’s the only grandstand completely shaded. A view from the upper-left corner overlooks the green, with a sight line to the eighth green.

The upper-left corner of the grandstand to the left of the 18th green: A swatch of shade in a sweet outdoor theater.

The upper-left corner of the grandstand to the right of the 18th green: You will also have a view of the ninth green.

The northwest corner of the course: Where the seventh green, 14th green, eighth tee and 15th tee converge to give you the most one-stop viewing options.

The grandstand at the first tee: Hear the player introductions with a backdrop of the practice putting green and all that entails.


Defending champion: Colin Montgomerie. He came from behind to beat Gene Sauers in a playoff. Despite posting his worst score of the tournament, a 73 on the final day, Montgomerie overcame a four-stroke deficit to match Sauers’ 5-under-par 279.

Past U.S. Senior Open champions expected to compete: Kenny Perry (2013), Roger Chapman (2012), Olin Browne (2011), Bernhard Langer (2010), Fred Funk (2009), Eduardo Romero (2008), Brad Bryant (2007), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Hale Irwin (2000 and 1998), and Dave Eichelberger (1999).

Oldest winner: Allen Doyle won in 2006 at the age of 58 years and 13 days, surpassing the record set by Robert De Vicenzo, the tournament’s inaugural champion, in 1980.

Youngest winner: Dale Douglass took home his first national title and became the tournament’s youngest winner in 1986, four months after his 50th birthday.

The field: 156 professionals and amateurs, including eleven former U.S. Senior Open champions. The field will be cut to the lowest 60 scores and ties after the second round.

The purse: The prize pool will be around $3.5 million.

Playoff tiebreakers: In the event of a tie after 72 holes, a three-hole playoff will be held immediately, and the player with the lowest aggregate score wins.


The U.S. Senior Open Championship is coming to Del Paso for the first time. The U.S. Women’s Open in 1982, when Janet Alex earned her first professional victory by six strokes, was the last USGA tournament at Del Paso. Architect Kyle Phillips led an 18-month, $10 million redesign and renovation of Del Paso in 2006.


1957 U.S. Women’s Amateur: JoAnne Gunderson Carner, 18, beat Ann Casey Johnstone 8-and-6 in the final in her first U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.

1964 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: Loma Smith won the third Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, scoring 247 in three rounds to beat Mrs. William R. Kirkland Jr. by one stroke.

1976 U.S. Women’s Amateur: Donna Horton posted a 2-and-1 to defeat Marianne Bretton in the final.

1982 U.S. Women’s Open: Janet Alex secured her first professional victory by posting a score of 5-under 283. She won the tournament by six strokes.


Daily practice-round and championship-round tickets: $39-$69

Weekly tickets: $125-$250

Children: Under 17 accompanied by an adult with a ticket will be admitted free.

Main entrance: Intersection of Morse Avenue and Marconi Avenue; gates open 30 minutes before the first tee time.

Parking/Shuttle: General parking will be at Cal Expo. A free shuttle will be available for transport from the public parking lot directly to the main entrance.

Will call: Main entrance (no ticket is necessary for the shuttle).

Camera policy: Video and audio recording are prohibited. Cameras are permitted only during the practice rounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Disability services: ADA accessible parking is available in the public parking lot. Mobility scooters will be provided for free at the main admission gate.

First-aid stations: One station will be at the main entry, and the other station will be at the practice range.

Mobile devices: Smaller than 7 inches are allowed; all volume controls must be set to “silent” or “vibrate” at all times. Phone calls must not be received or placed in any area that may disrupt play, including grandstands. Texting and email are permitted as long as players are not distracted.

Prohibited items: Weapons, explosives or fireworks; noise-producing devices (including portable speakers); backpacks, briefcases or bags larger than 6 inches; signs, posters or banners; food or beverages except for medical or infant needs (clear plastic water bottles 24 ounces or fewer are permitted when empty); pets except service animals assisting disabled patrons; lawn chairs, oversized chairs with arms (compact chairs without arms are allowed); ladders or step-stools; bicycles; metal-spike golf shoes.


Video: Hole-by-hole breakdown by golf writer Steve Pajak

Interactive map: Hole-by-hole guide to to Del Paso Country Club course

Kevin Sutherland: A conversation with the longtime pro from Sacramento

The players: Profiles of the top players, with video and photos

If you’re going: A guide to outings and events in the Sacramento region

Daily coverage: Stories, photos, video and more, plus leaderboard and results

On Twitter: @SacBeeGolf

Additional information:

Jose Olivar contributed to this report.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee