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First U.S. Senior Open held on a college course kicks off at Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—It’s been a long road to the 40th U.S. Senior Open kickoff on Thursday at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame.

For the first time in history, the USGA Championship will be played on a college course.

Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame sets up as a par 70, just over 6900 yards. For the players, if you hit these fairways, scoring opportunities are out there.

“You certainly start off with a short part 4 with a wedge in your hand. But you run into stretches with some really solid par 4’s. Hole 3, 4 and the par 3 5th is playing over 230 yards. Players are going to have to be pretty precise,” said USGA’s Senior Director of Championships, Ben Kimball.

There’s another number that’s a key cog to this 40th U.S. Senior Open: volunteers.

“It’s a lot of people. Over 24 different committees. Four different divisions. So you are going to see a lot of green shirts out here this week,” Kimball said.

From assisting players to guiding spectators to the grandstands, volunteers are available.

“Without them we would not be able to do what we do. It takes an Army to do all these things. We expect 130 thousand people through the gates Monday through Sunday. These volunteers are helping to make sure every fan is having a good experience and that’s exactly what we want,” said Champion Manager Danielle Baiunco.

Fans will father to watch the greats of the game of golf just yards away from where the gripper once galloped.

As 156 players prepare to tee off, David Toms is looking to become the fourth repeat champion.

Chris Smith, the Hoosier hero, is looking for a bit of the Irish magic.

“It should be an interesting ride for some of these players. There will be highs and lows,” Kimball said. “It’ll be mentally challenging and physically challenging, and that’s what it’s all about when you play a USGA Championship.”

For more information on the 40th U.S. Senior Open, click here.

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