Olson (78) bids for US Open golf spot

US Air Force veteran one of 9,000 entries

Golfmagic correspondent
Tue, 5 May 2009

Olson (78) bids for US Open golf spot


Sign at the Bethpage Black municipal course

Ordean Olson (above right), aged 78, will be the oldest player trying to attempt to qualify for this year’s US Open at the Bethpage Black course in New York. Olson, who turns 79 before the climax of the four-day tournament in mid-June, lives in Hollywood, Florida and is a Korean War veteran decorated for serving in the US Air Force.

A PGA golf pro and former professional baseball player, he also represented San Diego State University at basketball and teaches financial management and economics at the Huizenga School of Business.

Olson is one of 9,086 accepted entries for golf’s second major of the season - a complete contrast to 13-year-old Matthew Lowe who lives close to Bethpage State Park and under the terms of qualification has a handicap lower than 1.4.

The USGA revealed that they received 119 online entries during the final hour of the closing date, with a 43-year-old amateur named Michael Atkeison submitting his form just five seconds before the deadline expired.

Mike Davis, the USGA’s senior director of Rules and Competitions commented: "One of the very positive things we are seeing is increased participation of quality foreign players in the qualifying process.

“We've always had a healthy representation of American players but now we're more foreign players due to our expanded ties with the European and Asian tours."

Seventy-one foreign countries will be represented with one of the sectional events to be staged in England on May 25. The Bethpage Black course is rated one of the most difficult public courses in the world.

 

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