For the first time in its history, the U.S. Senior Open Championship will be contested on one of the five founding clubs of the USGA. Newport (R.I.) Country Club, which has hosted four previous USGA championships, will be the site of the 2020 U.S. Senior Open from June 25-28.
The historic club hosted the inaugural U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur championships in 1895, the 1995 U.S. Amateur and the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open. In 1894, Newport joined Chicago Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, The Country Club and St. Andrews Golf Club in forming the USGA. Theodore A. Havemeyer, the co-founder of Newport Country Club, was the Association’s first president, and the Havemeyer Trophy is annually presented to the U.S. Amateur champion.
“Newport Country Club and its membership helped to lay the foundation upon which the USGA was built more than a century ago, and we are pleased to continue our rich history with the club,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “The U.S. Senior Open is senior golf’s most prestigious championship and we look forward to awarding the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy at Newport for the first time in 2020.”
William F. Davis designed Newport Country Club as a nine-hole layout in 1894, and the course was expanded to 18 holes five years later. In 1923, A.W. Tillinghast remodeled the course, which sits on the southern end of Newport. Ron Forse supervised a restoration in 2005. The Beaux Arts-style clubhouse, which was designed by architect Whitney Warren, overlooks Brenton Point.
“On behalf of the Newport Country Club, we are thrilled to be the host club for the 2020 U.S. Senior Open Championship,” said Barclay Douglas Jr., club president. “The state of Rhode Island, the city of Newport and the club are most pleased to have the USGA return to Newport. Our ‘City by the Sea’ will be enhanced by having the world’s best senior players compete on our historic Tillinghast course.”
In 1895, Charles Blair Macdonald, who is considered the father of American golf course architecture, defeated Charles E. Sands, 12 and 11, to win the inaugural U.S. Amateur. One day later, Horace Rawlins, an English professional, posted a two-stroke victory over Willie Dunn to claim the U.S. Open over 36 holes, four trips around the original Newport course.
One hundred years later, the U.S. Amateur returned to the course as part of the USGA’s centennial celebration. Tiger Woods won the second of three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles by defeating George “Buddy” Marucci, 2 up, in the 36-hole final. Woods, who has won nine USGA championships, including three U.S. Opens, was 3 down in the morning round but took the lead for good by winning the 30th hole.
Annika Sorenstam shot a 1-under-par 70 to defeat Pat Hurst by four strokes in an 18-hole playoff that decided the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Newport. The two players were tied at even-par 284 following 72 holes. Sorenstam recorded her third U.S. Women’s Open victory, which ties her for third for most wins behind Betsy Rawls and Mickey Wright, who each won four times.
By hosting the 2020 U.S. Senior Open, Newport Country Club will become the sixth club to have held a U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open. The other clubs to have hosted the four USGA championships are Cherry Hills Country Club, in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.; Hazeltine National Golf Club, in Chaska, Minn.; Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club; Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, in Village of Pinehurst, N.C.; and Winged Foot Golf Club, in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The 2020 U.S. Senior Open will be the 10th USGA championship hosted in Rhode Island and the fourth Senior Open in New England. This year’s U.S. Senior Open will be played at Salem Country Club, in Peabody, Mass., on June 29-July 2. Salem also hosted the 2001 Senior Open, while Brooklawn Country Club, in Fairfield, Conn., hosted the 1987 championship.
The U.S. Senior Open was first played in 1980. The championship for golfers age 50 and older is open to any professional and any amateur with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4. The 2018 championship is scheduled for June 28-July 1 at The Broadmoor Golf Club (East Course), in Colorado Springs, Colo. In 2019, Warren Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, in Notre Dame, Ind., will host from June 27-30.
via the USGA.