U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Round 1: Notable and Quotable
June 29, 2017 | PEABODY, Mass.
By Mike Trostel and David Chmiel, USGA
Kirk Triplett’s 8-under 62 ties Loren Roberts (2006, third round) for the lowest score in USGA Open championship history. Triplett made six birdies and one eagle – holing his 115-yard approach with a 9-iron on the par-4 fourth hole.
Triplett on his record-tying 62: “Today I just got some momentum. At one point during the round, I said, okay, this is your day. Grab it and go ... When I get it going, I’m not afraid to keep it going and it helps when they come in bunches.”
During the first round of the 2001 U.S. Senior Open at Salem C.C., there was one sub-par score – Bruce Fleisher shot 69. There were 27 sub-par scores in that entire championship. This year, there were 40 scores of par or better in the first round alone. That breaks the record for most sub-par scores in any round in the U.S. Senior Open. The previous record was 39 during the second round at Inverness Club in 2011.
In the first round, there were nine rounds of 65 or better. That is the most in any round in a U.S. Senior Open. The previous record was four, accomplished multiple times, most recently in the final round of the 2013 championship at Omaha Country Club.
Paul Goydos, on shooting a 30 on his first nine holes: “Thirty is usually a six- or seven-hole score for me this year. The way I’ve been playing, quite frankly, this round was pretty surprising. To quote Kirk Triplett, I am too inconsistent to be bad all the time.”
Jeff Sluman’s five consecutive birdies (Nos. 10-14) ties a U.S. Senior Open record shared by nine others. It was most recently accomplished by Jeff Maggert in 2015 at Del Paso Country Club.
Only Roger Chapman birdied the 481-yard par-4 second hole on Thursday. It was the most difficult hole on the course, playing to a stroke average of 4.51.
Duffy Waldorf aced the 136-yard third hole with a pitching wedge in the first round. It is the 19th hole-in-one in the U.S. Senior Open. The group of Waldorf, Triplett (birdie) and Billy Andrade (birdie) combined to play the third hole in five strokes.
Waldorf, on his hole-in-one: “The ball was on line and took one hop … My vision is not that good, but the reaction [from the fans] is all I’m looking for, and I got it.”
Olin Browne’s nine birdies tied a U.S. Senior Open record, held by multiple competitors. Kenny Perry accomplished the feat most recently in the fourth round of the 2013 championship in Omaha.
Perry, who shot 65, showed cautious respect for the greens at Salem: “Those greens are diabolical. It’s almost better to have a straight uphill 20-footer than have a pin-high eight-foot bender. If you keep it under the hole, you can free up your putter.”