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U.S. Senior Open: With a field full of big names and great stories, we couldn't ask for a better Sunday setup

This leaderboard has a little something for everyone. If you want a big name to cheer, there are plenty. If you want a feel-good story to champion, there are options.
by Jenni Carlson Published: July 12, 2014

EDMOND — Willie Wood and Bill Glasson will be done before the leaders tee off. Bob Tway and Gil Morgan will be finishing when the tournament is being decided by other players. And Scott Verplank and Rocky Walcher will be sitting by the pool or laying on the couch for the whole thing.

Our guys went kaput in this U.S. Senior Open.

This weekend was supposed to be one big red dirt party at Oak Tree National. The locals were going to play great the first three days and put themselves in contention heading into the final round. The galleries were going to be pulling for Dr. Gil or Scotty or one of the guys to win it all on Sunday.

Didn’t happen.

Total bummer.

But despite not having a bunch of locals in the hunt, we couldn’t ask for a better Sunday setup. We have a great leaderboard. It’s chocked with big names. It’s overflowing with great storylines.

Let’s start with those big names. Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh and Jeff Sluman are all under par and in the top five. Every one of them had a long and successful career on the PGA Tour. What’s more, every one of them has won at least one major, whether on the PGA Tour or the Champions Tour.

These guys are names that even the most casual golf fan knows.

And if you look a little farther down the leaderboard, you’ll see more recognizable names. Woody Austin. David Frost. Rocco Mediate. Mark Brooks. Loren Roberts. Tom Kite. Any of those guys could make a charge.

All of them are chasing one of the best storylines you’ll find. Gene Sauers is the leader at 7-under heading into the final round, and a little over three years ago, he was in the hospital and didn’t know if he’d get out of it alive. He had a rare skin condition that burned him from the inside out, and he had large patches of skin on both of his arms and both of his legs that burned so badly they had to be grafted.

If he wins Sunday, he’ll raise the trophy with arms that still bear the scars of that ordeal.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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