Day 2: U.S. Senior Open Championship

Photo by George Bashura Shake Down The Thunder Sports

The world has arrived at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame. Tuesday was the second day of the U.S. Senior Open Championship. The day featured another practice round, autograph session by Rick Mirer, press conferences with David Toms, Scott McCarron, and Gary Nicklaus. There was also a Junior Exhibition, featuring 2009 U.S. Senior Open champion Fred Funk and four-time PGA Tour Champions winner Esteban Toledo on the practice range.

Gary Nicklaus Press Conference

Gary Nicklaus during his press conference
Photo by George Bashura Shake Down The Thunder Sports

Gary Nicklaus is back! Gary qualified for the U.S. Senior Open Championship at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter Florida. If you are thinking is he Jack’s son, you are correct. Gary qualified on his father’s course. He shot 70 to qualify to play this week as he earned one of two spots. Gary is fourth out of five children. This is his first U.S. Senior Open Championship.

When asked by the moderator ” This weekend you’ll be playing in your fifth different USGA championship, one more than your dad. How special is it to be playing in this championship this week?”

Gary Nicklaus response: ” Well, turning 50 at the beginning of the year, I had some aspirations to play in some tournaments and play well, and obviously one of my goals for the year was to be at this event, and to go into the qualifier and birdie the last two holes, win in a playoff and be here now is — it’s very satisfying, and glad to be here.”

The moderator followed up with the following question: “How is your game different now than it was when you turned professional and were playing professionally in the ’90s and early 2000s? How would you compare the two aspects of your game?”

Gary Nicklaus response: “I hit it a lot shorter (chuckling).”

“But no, I think that when you go through your life and you play and you’re playing competitive all the time, sometimes you kind of can’t see the forest through the trees.”

“My game, I was working on it, playing professionally for 15 years, and it never got easier. It was I would say kind of jumbled. And then after I lost my card in 2003, I didn’t pick up a club for four years.”

“And then when I came back and I started — I didn’t play a lot, but I played some amateur events, but when I came back, it was kind of almost like, well, oh, swinging the golf club is easy. Whether my brain took four years to process what I had been trying to learn for 40, I don’t know, but I think the game is — certain aspects of the game have become much easier. The putting aspect has still been kind of my nemesis, but I’ve been working on that, so hopefully this week we’re going to get that back into the good side.”

Press Questions

Media Question: “You’re here this week with another teammate of yours, Chris Smith, who qualified here, and you’re playing on a golf course where Susan Holt is the women’s golf coach at Notre Dame. Is it kind of a Buckeye reunion this week?”

Gary Nicklaus response: “Well, Chris and I are going to play a practice round tomorrow. We were supposed to play today, but I had to go out of town for a day. But, yeah, it’s great to be here, great to catch up with Chris. Great to have — I think we have — how many Buckeyes do we have in the field? I know John Cook, I saw him. Is Joey Sindelar playing? So we only have three Buckeyes? I would have thought we had more than that.”

Media Question: At Notre Dame, some people might say that’s enough Buckeyes.

Gary Nicklaus response : Well, I don’t know if you saw my comment after I qualified that I never thought a Buckeye would be so happy to come to South Bend. But it’s — yeah, I’m very excited to be here.

Shake Down The Thunder Sports: “I’m not sure if you had a chance to go into the Notre Dame locker room yet. I know that’s where the players are coming through. Have you had that chance, and what was that experience like?”


Gary Nicklaus response: “I’ve done it twice. So the first time I went in with Robbie and Jenny as kind of their guinea pig. I did that I think it was on Saturday or Sunday, and it was a great experience for someone who has never been a Notre Dame fan. It’s hard to walk away from that place not having an enormous amount of respect for what’s happened here and the history of Notre Dame.”

“I can’t say that I’m a fan yet, but I’m less of an anti-Notre Dame than I used to be.”

“But it was actually such a great experience. I said to a couple of the players, I was like, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but you’re really going to enjoy the registration experience. So much so for me that I didn’t register until today because I wanted to do it with GT so that he could go over there with me and kind of see what it was all about. So he and I went through registration this afternoon.”

“But it was very cool. Not as cool as Ohio State, but it’s cool.”

Junior Exhibition

Fred Funk, L, and Esteban Toledo speak to a group of young golfers during a Junior Clinic at the 2019 U.S. Senior Open at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (Copyright USGA/Keane)

The Championship is not all about the golfers. Its about giving back to the community, and Tuesday afternoon was no different. Fred Funk and Esteban Toledo worked with a group of young golfers about the basics of golf. It’s a moment to bring the next generation of golfers onto the course.

What’s On Deck

The 18th hole flag during a practice round at the 2019 U.S. Senior Open at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (Copyright USGA/Keane)

Wednesday, June 26
Practice Rounds – Gates open at 7 a.m.

Thursday, June 27 – Friday, June 28
First and Second Rounds – Gates open at 7 a.m.

Saturday, June 29
Third Round – Gates open 30 minutes before first tee time

Sunday, June 30
Final Round – Gates open 30 minutes before first tee time

In case of a tie after 72 holes, a two-hole aggregate score playoff will immediately follow (using holes 13 and 18). If this playoff results in a tie, the tied players will immediately continue to play off hole-by-hole until the winner is determined.

How To Watch

Television Schedule
All times EDT (local)

Day, DateTime (EDT)NetworkProgram
Wednesday, June 26Noon-1 p.m.FS1Wednesday at U.S. Senior Open
Thursday, June 273-8 p.m.FS1First Round
Friday, June 283-8 p.m.FS1Second Round
Saturday, June 293-4 p.m.FS1Third Round
 4-7:30 p.m.FOXThird Round
Sunday, June 302-7:30 p.m.FOXFourth Round

Live Streaming Schedule
All times EDT (local)

Day, DateTime (EDT)ChannelProgram
Thursday, June 2711 a.m.-1 p.m.usga.orgFirst Round, full coverage
 3-8 p.m.usga.orgFirst Round, featured group
Friday, June 2811 a.m.-1 p.m.usga.orgSecond Round, full coverage
 3-8 p.m.usga.orgSecond Round, featured group
Saturday, June 293-7:30 p.m.usga.orgThird Round, featured group
Sunday, June 302-7:30 p.m.usga.orgFourth Round, featured group

Parking And Other Information

Public Parking 

Fan parking and transportation for the U.S. Senior Open is free and at White Field (off Douglas Road). It is a brief walk to the championship’s main entrance. 

ADA Parking

ADA parking is available at a designated area within White Field (off Douglas Road).  Please have your valid ADA parking pass in clear view as you enter a lot. Complimentary ADA shuttles will run continuously to and from the championship’s main entrance. The USGA is committed to providing a positive and user-friendly experience for all spectators with disabilities and is pleased to provide the following services:

Accessible parking spaces for all vehicles having appropriate HD/DP license plates or placards will be reserved at public parking at White Field. Please see additional parking information on map.

A number of motorized scooters will be available at the main admissions tent, for spectators with disabilities, on a first-come, first-served basis, compliments of the USGA and Pride Mobility.

Accessible restrooms will be available at portable restroom locations throughout the championship grounds and at corporate facilities.

Select concessions, merchandise tents and spectator experience areas will be accessible.

Drop Off Area / Ride App / Foot Traffic / Admission Gates / Bicycles 

The 2019 U.S. Senior Open has a safe designated drop-off, pick-up and ride app location for all fans attending the championship. The area is conveniently located at White Field (enter through normal gate to drop-off). The championship will NOT be responsible for providing services to arrange for transportation such as Uber or Lyft. All patrons must make their own personal arrangements and be responsible for both their arrival and departure schedules.

Private Shuttles will also utilize this location for picking up and dropping off fans but will NOT be able to stage.

Fans choosing to ride a bicycle to the championship are instructed to go to drop-off, pick-up and ride app location at White Field, where bike racks will be located.

The hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. until 30 minutes after play ends.

For additional information on the 2019 U.S. Senior Open, visit ussenioropen.com.

Cheers and Go Irish! ☘⛳⚡

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