Scott Verplank has walked the fairways of Oak Tree National many times since becoming a resident in 1989. He really fell in love with the course five-years earlier when he won the US Amateur here in 84. This weekend he'll have a shot at winning a national championship in his own back yard.
" It would be awesome. I mean, obviously it would be a dream come true to play well or to have a chance to win here. The U.S. Amateur trophy is the coolest trophy that I have, so I would imagine that if I could somehow get this one, I'd stick it right next to it, and they'd both be cool."
What's really cool is he'll be playing in the US Senior Open a day after turning 50. Making him eligible for the Champions Tour. He'll be facing guys he's played with most of his pro career.
" I was kind of joking the other day, I said, yeah, I think I'm about ready to start playing with kids my own size again, you know, pick on somebody your own age or your own size because the kids on the PGA TOUR are getting out there. I'm seeing a ton of guys that I don't get to see very often or haven't seen often, but I'm looking forward to that. And I've been getting a little bit of ribbing because I'm still not 50 yet. It's like I told somebody on the range, if I don't show up tomorrow then it means I didn't make it to 50."
Even though Scott has been a professional golfer for 28-years and played the game most of his life... His first round on a new tour could bring the butterflies.
"I think if anyone tells you they're not nervous they're lying." said Bernhard Langer, "And that's a good thing if your somewhat nervous if heightens your awareness and concentration. It's just when you're overly nervous and you can't stop shaking or can't breath then that's a bad thing."
"I know that I was nervous the first round I played." said Dr. Gil Morgan, "They paired me with Arnold (Palmer) for one thing and I hadn't played with him in awhile. I eventually got over that."
"I would think that I would be a little bit more nervous or have a few more butterflies here just because -- really because it's my place. It's the golf course I live on. I love playing here, and I have lots of friends and family, and probably will feel like if I play well, I'll be somewhere in the mix." said Verpank
He will definitely be one of the fan favorites.
The first round of the US Senior Open gets underway Thursday at Oak Tree National on Edmond, Oklahoma.