It might be an off week for the Champions Tour, but not for Tom Watson and Kenny Perry.
They are playing in The Greenbrier Classic at the well-known West Virginia golf resort, where each has a tie. Watson has been associated with it for 34 years and the 2014 Ryder Cup captain is its golf professional emeritus. Perry has the Greenbrier as a sponsor.
Both opened with 68s in Thursday’s first round, six strokes behind co-leaders Johnson Wagner and Tommy Gainey. Perry was 5 under after nine holes, but last week’s winner of the Senior Players Championship went without a birdie on the back nine while making three bogeys. Watson had three birdies and a bogey.
Koch a sectional qualifier
Gary Koch already was heading to Omaha as a tower reporter for NBC on its weekend telecasts of the Senior Open.
Now the 60-year-old, who won six times on the PGA Tour, has another assignment. He’s playing in the championship after surviving a four-way playoff for the last two spots available in sectional qualifying at Dunedin (Fla.) Golf Club.
Caddies to help local families
Dinner tickets are available at $25 a person for Sunday’s 2013 Caddie-Am Omaha, an event at the Player’s Club put on by tour caddie Troy Martin of Omaha to help two Nebraska families with children fighting a life-threatening illness.
Martin has lined up 24 tour caddies to play a fundraising golf outing earlier in the day, then will let them take the microphone after the burger-and-brat dinner to tell stories and hold a question-and-answer session. There will be an auction of PGA and Champions Tour memorabilia.
Contact Martin at 402-212-1780 or Tim Halpine at the Players Club at 402-963-9950.
Watch for Waldorf?
Duffy Waldorf is the only player to finish among the top 10 in the first three senior majors in 2013.
Waldorf, who makes his Senior Open debut this year, tied for sixth at the Senior PGA, tied for fifth at the Tradition and tied for second with Fred Couples at the Senior Players.
A 1985 UCLA graduate, Waldorf has had six top-six finishes in 11 tournaments.
Couples, incidentally, is the first Champions Tour player since Brad Bryant in 2008 to have three consecutive runner-up finishes. He didn’t play the Senior PGA Championship because of a back flareup, but has been right there in the next two.
Fourth of July withdrawal-free
Perhaps because of the holiday, the United States Golf Association reported no new withdrawals from the Senior Open on Thursday. Earlier in the week, Olin Browne, Nick Price, Craig Stadler and Allen Doyle cited injuries or health reasons for bowing out.
Merchandise tent opens Sunday
The public can shop Sunday in the Senior Open’s merchandise pavilion, the only time next week it will be open to people without tickets to the tournament.
The shop — open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday — is next to the main tournament entrance off 72nd Street south of State Street (direction signs will be posted).
Parking will be available on the grounds north of the entrance.
Jacobsen to appear at Marian
Champions Tour golfer Peter Jacobsen will stay an extra day in Omaha after the U.S. Senior Open to be the celebrity pro at Marian High School’s annual fundraiser golf tournament July 15 at Indian Creek.
Jacobsen has a spot in the Senior Open by finishing in the top 25 — a tie for 17th — last year. He also is a commentator for Golf Channel and NBC.