Sacramento's storied Del Paso Country Club will play host to the 2015 U.S. Senior Open Championship June 22-28, 2015, the United States Golf Association announced today.
With a list of past champions that includes such legends as Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin, the U.S. Senior Open is considered the world's premier championship in men's senior (ages 50 and over) golf.
"The USGA is pleased to renew its friendship with Del Paso Country Club and the community of Sacramento," said USGA vice president Thomas J. O'Toole Jr. "Del Paso and Sacramento have embraced the spirit of this national championship and will be great partners with the USGA in producing what we are confident will be a successful championship and community event."
A recent economic impact study done on the championship estimates that the U.S. Senior Open will pump an estimated $17 million into the Sacramento region's economy over seven days. More than 150,000 spectators are expected at Del Paso over the full week.
Del Paso, which underwent an $11.5 million makeover in 2007, has held USGA events before - the 1957 and 1976 U.S. Women's Amateurs, the 1960 Senior Women's Amateur and the 1982 U.S. Women's Open. Thirty-three years after the USGA last set up shop at Del Paso, the 2015 U.S. Senior Open will come to Northern California for the first time ever.
The U.S. Senior Open features more than 15 hours of live television coverage on network and cable television and will be seen in 50 countries worldwide.
Current Champions Tour stars who can be expected to play in Sacramento are Fred Couples, Curtis Strange, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Peter Jacobsen, Mark O'Meara, Mark Calcavecchia and the ageless Irwin. Three-time major champion Vijay Singh turns 50 in 2013. Davis Love III turns 50 in 2014 and will be eligible to play, as will Sacramento native and Del Paso member Kevin Sutherland.
"We are extremely excited to be hosting one of the most prestigious events in all of golf," said Dan Spector, a Del Paso member who will serve as chairman of the 2015 U.S. Senior Open. "We think the entire Sacramento community will embrace one of the biggest and most important sporting events to ever come to our town.
"I'm confident that Del Paso Country Club and Sacramento will prove to be great hosts of a United States Open Championship for the entire world to enjoy, admire and remember," Spector said. "I want to thank the Sacramento Convention Bureau, City and County of Sacramento and Sacramento International Airport in their support of this event and our efforts to bring it to Sacramento".
Since its inception in 1980, the U.S. Senior Open has been contested on some of the most famous courses in the world - Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C., Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham, Mich., Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills, Colo., and Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
"Sacramento looks forward to hosting the 2015 U.S. Senior Open," said Mayor Kevin Johnson. "It's an exciting opportunity both to support our regional economy and to showcase Sacramento on a national and international stage."
"Congratulations to Del Paso Country Club on being selected as the site for the 2015 U.S. Senior Open," said Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Nottoli. "The entire Sacramento community is very excited about bringing this world-class event to our county and city. I'm confident this will be the best U.S. Senior Open ever."
Del Paso Country Club opened in 1916, making it the oldest private course in the Sacramento Valley. Renowned golf-course designer Kyle Phillips oversaw the re-design that was completed in 2006. The course was lengthened to the extent that it now measures more than 7,100 yards from the back tees. The renovation included switching to rye-grass fairways and bent-grass greens and constructing a first-rate practice facility that will be popular with the U.S. Senior Open contestants.
In 2010, Del Paso's Board of Directors submitted an application to host a USGA championship. The USGA made several visits to Sacramento as the club reached out to the public and private sectors to gauge local interest in such a momentous undertaking. The first three months of 2012 were spent working through the final details leading up to today's announcement.
"With the estimated hotel room nights upwards of 25,000, this will be one of the largest sporting events that Sacramento has ever hosted," said Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Steve Hammond. "The duration of the tournament, coupled with the international television exposure, positions Sacramento to realize the benefits of this event even after its conclusion."
Business leaders from Del Paso C.C. experienced an outpouring of community support for the 2015 U.S. Senior Open, receiving financial commitments from six "Founding Patrons": AKT Development , Bonuccelli and Associates, Coca-Cola of Sacramento, KCRA Television, Porter/Scott , Roseville AutoMall, and Waste Management.
"We are grateful for the support of our Founding Patrons without whose commitments we would not have likely sought bringing this major championship to Sacramento," Spector said. "These entities willingness to financially support the championship before it was awarded to us provided confirmation that Del Paso Country Club and the Sacramento region are willing and able to host a national championship of international significance."
The field at Del Paso will feature 156 professionals and amateurs, including all of the top players on the Champions Tour.
In the years leading up to 2015, the U.S. Senior Open will be held at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. (2012); Omaha Country Club in Omaha, Neb. (2013); and Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla. (2014).
Olin Browne won the 2011 U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club with a 15-under-par score of 269.