Power Rankings: U.S. Senior Open

July 09, 2012
Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

Editor's note: Vartan Kupelian is the Champions Tour Insider and a PGATOUR.COM Contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.

Will there be another surprise winner this week in a Champions Tour major?


Two of the first three major titles in 2012 have been won by relative unknowns. Englishman Roger Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship and Joe Daley captured the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago.

Can it happen again?

The majors return to Michigan for the second time this year with the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, a community 40 miles north of downtown Detroit. The Old Course at Indianwood is a Wilfrid Reid design with a distinctly links look. There's heather, gorse and whins aplenty.

Olin Browne will defend the title he won last year at Inverness Club in Toledo. Browne claimed his breakthrough Champions Tour major in a stretch duel against Mark O'Meara. Browne had an answer for everything O'Meara threw at him, and finished with a three-shot victory with an even-par 71 in the final round. Browne shot 64-69-65-71 for an impressive 15-under 269 total. It was the first victory for Browne since the 2005 Deutsche Bank on the PGA TOUR.

Power Rankings: U.S. Senior Open Championship
Rank Player   Comment
Won his second straight Regions Tradition and finished runner-up at the SENIOR PLAYERS to return to the top of the Charles Schwab Cup standings. Tops in the Total Driving and Greens in Regulation statistics. That's an ideal scenario for the Old Course at Indianwood.
Never, ever overlook Langer. He's oh-so-steady in big events. In two major starts this year, he finished T4 at the Senior PGA Championship and T2 at the Regions Tradition. Nine top-10s in 11 starts. That's mighty impressive stuff.
No revisionist history here. Check out his performance through the first six months of the 2012 season and it's clear that he's prominent among the power players on the Champions Tour. Twice a winner, he's No. 1 in the All-Around statistic and No. 2 in Putting Average (1.737).
His short game prowess will pay dividends at Indianwood with its undulating, quirky greens. Is looking to add a major to the first Champions Tour title he won earlier this year at the Allianz Championship and is coming off a top 10 at Pebble Beach.
It's not about distance at Indianwood. It's about precision and that's in Funk's wheelhouse. Top 10 in the two most recent major championships, and this is another chance for him to win his fourth Champions Tour major. He won the U.S. Senior Open in 2009.

This week's Champions Tour Power Rankings for the U.S. Senior Open: