¬† THE U.S.SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN the first day is Thursday, history starts promptly at 7 AM. Tickets at usseniorwomensopen.com. THE JOHN DEERE CLASSIC is on the tee starting on Thursday, Bryson DeChambeau returns as defending champion, local players Nick Hardy and Doug Ghim have sponsors exemptions. Johndeereclassic.com.¬† _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory ob Twitter @GogBlogGuy and on Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram. At Exmoor Country Club home of this weeks Sr. Players Championship

THE SENIOR Players Championship¬† tee’s off this Thursday at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park.

Defending Champion Scott McCarron returns to defend his title. Bernhard Langer who won the championship for three straight years before McCarron is back and will head up a strong list of challengers trying to take back the title.

Langer speaking with the media today said he has enjoyed this tournament in the past and loves Exmoor. He played the course for the first time on Thursday morning and came away raving about everything. Which is probably bad news for the rest of the field. Langer had a couple of Champions Tour events in playoffs, and got one win in Houston. He missed the Senior PGA Championship when his son was graduating from high school that weekend.

Langer is not alone in having praise for Exmoor, the third oldest course in the Chicago area behind Chicago Golf and Onwentsia. Three players that did interviews after finishing practice rounds that included former Western Open Champion Joe Durant, Corey Pavin and Paul Goydos who once had a 59 at the John Deere Classic all raves about Exmoor. With Goydos calling it potential U.S. Open Golf Course.

Click here to hear interviews with Joe Durant, Corey Pavin and Paul Goydos and hear their thoughts on Exmoor and their game coming into championship week.

The field includes players with some local ties, including former Barrington native Gary Hallberg, former Hinsdale resident Jeff Sluman, and current university of Illinois golf coach Mike Small, who made the field by his play in several Champions Tour events including his T-10 at Steve Stricker’s recent invite in Madison Wisconsin.

The Senior Players Championship has some great history dating back to it’s first year in 1983 when Miller Barber won. In 1984 and 1985 Arnold Palmer won back-to-back titles and Jack Nicklaus got his one and only title in 1990. Raymond Floyd won twice and the only player with three wins is Langer.

The field of 78 players includes 49 of the top 50 players in the Charles Schwab Cup point standings, Exmoor will play at a yardage of 7,149 yards and to a par of 72. The purse is $2,8 million and the winners check is $420,000. The Golf Channel will have coverage all four days.

The pro-am will be played tomorrow with gates opening to the public. For tickets please visit SPCGolf.com or purchase them at Exmoor.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.