The old guys are ready.
And so is the course.
It should be a great weekend at the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, set to tee it up tomorrow through Sunday on the Old course at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. Golf fans better get out and support the event. If they don't, it sends a message to the United States Golf Association (which runs the Senior Open), the PGA of America and the PGA Tour that southeast Michigan is apathetic to golf. That attitude won't help Oakland Hills Country Club in its bid to host a future major championship. The next major golf event scheduled in Michigan is the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills, the likeliest precursor to landing a coveted U.S. Open. No top tournament will come to metro Detroit before it - or after - without a show of support, much like Northern Ireland and Ireland gave for the Irish Open a few weeks ago in its bid to potentially host a British Open.
With or without massive fan support, the show must go on at Indianwood. Let's hope it's a better tournament than the last senior major in Michigan. The 2012 Senior PGA Championship at the Golf Club of Harbor Shores in June showed off another of Michigan's gems of a golf course, but a runaway victory by a little known foreigner, Roger Chapman, didn't do much for TV ratings or buzz in golf circles. If Tom Watson or Fred Couples can get in contention, now that's a different story. They are the two biggest names in town but certainly not the only worthy champions. I wouldn't mind seeing Tom Lehman or Hale Irwin make a charge.
The 6,862-yard, par-70 course should be playing firm and difficult with thick rough and narrow fairways. I'm not in town covering the event unfortunately, but I'll be keeping a close eye on it. Tickets are still available. ESPN2 will televise the first two rounds from 3-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday with NBC taking over the weekend, running from 3-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.