Columbus, OH — For three years, 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship General Chairman Walt Dennis has waited to see what his and many others blood, sweat and tears would create at Scioto Country Club.
The fruits of countless hours of labor paid off as the U.S. Senior Open Championship officially began at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
“I feel like the captain of the freighter coming to the port,” Dennis said with a smile. “I’m going to come on board and they’re (the USGA) going to take it to the dock. It’s a huge sense of relief to work as hard as we have for the past three years to get to this moment. The table is set, the players are in position and now the finest golf association in the world is about to bring it home.”
Brian Mogg, an Ohio State graduate, who is making his U.S. Senior Open debut hit the first tee shot on the first hole, Mogg was able to find the fairway.
“When you live your whole life in the saddle of the shoe, you certainly have an affinity and an attachment to the Ohio State Buckeyes,” said Dennis. “To see Brian hit the first shot was quite an honor.”
For his part, Mogg finished with a 2-over par 72.
“It’s a little more energy, a little more excitement than maybe just a traditional shot,” Mogg said. “The way Scioto is, you’ve got to hit fairways. As much as I kind of didn’t want to focus on being nervous, it was like it was more important to focus on the fairway and thankfully a good shot.”
In Ohio, rain is known to happen and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide has built a reputation for having weather delays in which the tournament has to scramble to finish in time.
Dennis, an Ohio resident, knows that weather can always play an important factor in a golf tournament. Thus far, the area has dodged any serious rain drops.
“When the USGA came on board, I was privileged to be part of their daily session and weather is paramount,” Dennis said. “It’s a game we play outside, you have no choice. I understand the phenomenon that occurs when you have a city the size of downtown Columbus, it tends to have its own micro-climate. I explained to these gentlemen that unless there was a big front coming in, we live under the dome of Columbus. Just relax, these storms will come in and go to Dublin, they’ll come to Hilliard, New Albany, Grove City and they won’t necessarily hit Upper Arlington and I’ve been proven correctly, for the last five days. My fingers are crossed for the next three.”