U.S. Senior Open Comes To Salem Country Club
Established as a result of the remarkable growth in senior golf, both at the professional and amateur levels, the inaugural U.S. Senior Open in 1981 was conducted on the East Course of Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Roberto De Vicenzo, a national hero in his native Argentina, won the inaugural event by four strokes over amateur William C. Campbell.
While the first Senior Open was for golfers 55 and older, the age limit was dropped to 50 the following year to mirror the fledgling Senior Tour, and fittingly, Arnold Palmer, 51, won the championship. With his victory, Palmer joined JoAnne Carner as the only players to win three different USGA Championships (Jack Nicklaus, Carol Semple Thompson, and Tiger Woods have since accomplished this feat).
Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Orville Moody, Lee Trevino and Hale Irwin joined Palmer as the only golfers to have won a U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. Other notable champions include Tom Weiskopf, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Dave Stockton, Fred Funk and Kenny Perry.