Back to Old Warson for the start of the Senior Amateur, which was the site of the 1999 US Mid Amateur. Old Warson this time around looks lush, long, and quite wet. The second day of practice rounds have not gotten off the ground with thunder showers hitting the St Louis area all day today. That means this grand old course is going to play LONG!!
My hope is the USGA doesn’t start making adjustments and moving the tees forward. Candidly I felt the last two years venues were played way to short (not that it helped me). I think a National Senior championship should be conducted at 7,000 yards long.
These sloping and tight fairways will provide a significant challenge, especially for those that hit it short and crooked. Even the longer hitters will need to keep the ball in the fairways as the rough will be wet and nasty.
My strategy will be the same as in the US Senior Open at Scioto, GET THE BALL IN THE FAIRWAY, which I did not do a very good job of (10 of 28 fairways). Here at Old Warson it will be very similar, and winning matches or even qualifying will be tough out of the nasty rough. Who are the favorites, well certainly defending Champ Chip Lutz will be very tough to beat, along with other past National champs, Paul Simson, Brady Exber, Doug Hanzel, Pat Tallent, Danny Green, Tim Jackson, Randal Lewis, Vinny Giles, Buddy Marucci, Mike Bell, Buddy Alexander. All of these guys are GREAT players and will be tough in the match play portion.
The next tier of great players in the field also could have a breakthrough tournament and become a National Champion, but to win 6 matches over 4 days, against the best Senior players in the world will not be easy, especially on this difficult track. My prediction is one of the longer hitters will prevail this week, so who is your pick?
Stay tuned for more from the US Senior Amateur at Old Warson!!