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U.S. Senior open notes: Iowa golfer set for eighth straight Open

U.S. Senior open notes: Iowa golfer set for eighth straight Open

Check out a hole-by-hole virtual tour and guide of Omaha Country Club.

Mike McCoy’s streak lives on.

The Des Moines amateur will make his eighth straight start in the U.S. Senior Open come Thursday at Omaha Country Club.

He made it as an alternate. The insurance executive was at the Omaha sectional qualifying at Happy Hollow, shooting par 71 to finish a stroke behind Matt Gogel for the second available spot.

McCoy said the USGA told him he was the first one on the alternate list for Omaha and got the call a couple of days later that he was in.

Since then, he won the senior division of the George C. Thomas Invitational at Los Angeles Country Club.

“That was good for the confidence,’’ he said.

McCoy was first eligible for the Senior Open in 2013, the first time it was held at Omaha Country Club. He was the tournament’s low amateur the next two years.

The cancellation of last year’s Senior Open, because of the pandemic, helped him maintain his consecutive starts streak. He was recovering from rotator cuff surgery.

“I feel like maybe I turned the clock back a little with all that,’’ McCoy said.

His practice round Sunday was with tournament co-chairman Patrick Duffy and his caddie this week is Omaha Creighton Prep graduate Josh Kramer, who usually is Duffy’s caddy at the club.

“Patrick’s played a lot of golf here, so it’s worth listening to,’’ McCoy said.

Compared to 2013, McCoy said, the rough is more lush, the collars around the greens have changed and a few of the greens have been expanded.

“The greens, they’re beautiful. No grain to them,’’ he said. “They are as true as they can be. So no excuses when you’re on the greens.”

Bottled water, tailgate chairs

For Tuesday at least, fans can bring one clear bottle of water, no more than 32 ounces and sealed, through security at championship admission gates.

“There is a need to take precautionary measures for hydration and heat management,” Hank Thompson, senior director of the U.S. Senior Open, said in a statement. “Fan safety is our No. 1 priority, and we want to make sure fans in attendance are able to enjoy all the great golf while staying safe and healthy.”

Fans can bring personal water bottles that are 32 ounces or less (no glass) on any day. In addition, hydration stations will be located at Fan Central by the main entrance, the tees at the No. 1 and No. 4 holes and at all first aid locations for refilling bottles.

Fans are also encouraged to bring portable folding tailgate chairs to enjoy viewing from specially designated chair viewing areas along rope lines. Lawn chairs are not allowed.

Tuesday schedule

Most of the 156 golfers will be on the course for practice rounds or at the practice range Tuesday, when cameras are allowed.

Gates open at 7 a.m. Parking, with shuttles, is at the North Omaha Airport, 12005 N. 72nd St., north of 72nd Street and Nebraska 36.

Thursday and Friday tee times will start at 7:15 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees.

Tickets available

Daily practice round tickets are $25 (through Wednesday). Daily championship round tickets are $50 (Thursday-Sunday). Weekly access tickets are $175.

Youths age 18 and under get in free each day of the championship when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

There are U.S. military personnel special discounts available for all rounds.

Ticket purchases are through ussenioropen.com.

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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Email stu.pospisil@owh.com

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