Gibbons, the head professional at Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, got a call from the USGA 13 days after he won a three-way playoff for the first alternate's spot into the July 7-13 U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.

by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEEER - Arrowhead head pro Rob Gibbons lines up a putt during his playoff with Brad Faller at last month's Callaway Golf Invitational at Arrowhead Golf Club.Rob Gibbons, the head professional at Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, is going to play in next week's U.S. Senior Open.

Gibbons, 57, received a call from tournament officials Tuesday morning that there was a spot for him as an alternate in the 156-player field for next week's U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.

The call came 13 days after Gibbons won a one-hole playoff with Steve Bowen and Tom Carey for the first alternate's spot at the June 18 qualifying round at Creekside Golf Club in Salem.

“You just don’t get a chance like this very often,” Gibbons said. “To be an alternate and to be waiting and waiting and then to get the call … it should be a lot of fun.”

Gibbons said a women with the United States Golf Association called him about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“She said, ‘We have a spot, would you like to play?’ I said, ‘Why, yes, I would like to play,’” Gibbons said.

Gibbons is one of three players from Arrowhead to make the field for this year’s Senior Open.

Teaching pro Bruce Stewart won the qualifying round at Creekside and will be making his third trip to the national championship for players over 50, while amateur club member Pat O’Donnell earned an automatic exemption after finishing second at the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur Championships.

Rob Gibbons“To me it sounds pretty rare, especially for three players from the same club to get in on a qualifying basis,” Gibbons said. “You might have some tour guys who all belong to Oak Tree, because so many tour players came out of there.

“But here, we all had to go through the process of qualifying, and I’m not sure that’s ever happened. Sounds rare to me.”

This will be Gibbons’ second appearance in the U.S. Senior Open, having made his first appearance three years ago at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where he missed the cut by one stroke.

Gibbons planned to fly to Oklahoma on Sunday and then have three full days to get acclimated to the climate and the playing conditions before the tournament begins on Thursday, July 10.

“It’s supposed to be very hot and humid while I’m there,” Gibbons said. “Other than that … that’s about all I know. I’ve never been to Oklahoma, but I know Jeff Sluman won the PGA Championship in 1988 at Oak Tree.”

Gibbons said that he, O’Donnell and Stewart are scheduled to play a practice round Tuesday with fellow-Oregonian and 2004 U.S. Senior Open champion Peter Jacobsen.

In May, Gibbons played at the Senior PGA Championships at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., where he missed the cut by five shots.

“I feel good,” Gibson said. “You just never know. If we can make a few putts and not have any holes that have a big number, I feel really good about it.

“That was kind of downfall at Michigan where I missed the cut, because I had a triple(-bogey) and a double-(bogey) the second day. If not for those two holes, I probably would have made the cut.”

-- Jim Beseda / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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