Gunn gets last shot at Sr. Open

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 6:54 AM ET

Graham Gunn will have to wait a bit today to get his first taste of play at the U.S. Senior Open at the NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio.

Gunn, the head pro at the Carleton Golf and Yacht Club in Manotick, will be the last man to tee off today from the 10th tee at 2:42 p.m.

Gunn earned his way into the field at the prestigious tournament -- one of senior golf's majors -- through qualifying. And qualifiers typically, for the first two days, tee off late one day and early the other. After the cut for the weekend, tee times are based on scores.

The tee times are probably irrelevant to Gunn, one of the 156 players out of the 2,876 hopefuls to make it into the field.

This is another step for the 50-year-old in his ultimate goal of playing on the Champions Tour, the PGA Tour's over-50 circuit.

"The key to playing well in different scenarios is getting comfortable with your surroundings," said Gunn, who disqualified himself from last fall's Champions Tour qualifying school for an unspecified rules infraction. "The more you play in these types of conditions, the more comfortable you feel.

"If you told a regular person they're teeing off tomorrow morning at Glen Abbey with Greg Norman and Curtis Strange, they'd go crazy. Their worst nightmare would probably show up. But if Greg Norman is their regular game, the more you put yourself in that arena, the easier it is to play well."

It's Gunn's plan to return to the Champions Tour Q-school again this fall and the experience he gets this week will help prepare him for that.

The U.S. Senior Open field just might be the strongest on the Champions Tour. It will feature Norman, Strange, Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin, Peter Jacobsen (the defending champion and recent winner of the Senior PGA Championship) and Tom Watson (who just won the Senior British Open).


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