Principal Charity Classic Eichelberger Starred In US Senior Open 2009: Years Passed

Principal Charity Classic Eichelberger starred in US Senior Open

Ten years have passed, and Dave Eichelberger is still trying to regain the magic.
“I’m looking for the way my putter worked that week,” Eichelberger said. “That’s the last time I made them all.” It’s been a decade since Eichelberger won the record-setting U.S. Senior Open at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. An estimated 252,800 fans came through the gates that week, including 51,200 for Sunday’s final round. Corporate involvement also smashed records. “It was a shock,” Bruce Fleisher said, 10 years later. “There were 30,000 fans there on Monday for a practice round.” The event created a buzz the players still talk about a decade later. “Are kidding me” Dana Quigley said. “It’s still one of the great golf courses we’ve ever played. The fans in Iowa are still probably the most supportive fans we have on tour.” That Senior Open was the impetus behind the arrival of the Champions Tour to Greater Des Moines in 2001. “The players felt like they were on top of the world that week, playing in front of huge crowds,” Howe said. Ten years ago. Can it be “Time flies,” David Eger said. Now playing on the Champions Tour, Eger worked for the United States Golf Association and was instrumental in the club getting the 1999 U.S. Senior Open. Eger did an on-site visit, and sold Des Moines to the chairman of the USGA’s championship committee. “It proved to be a very successful event,” Eger said. No one at the club will discuss hosting another USGA event. But Eger has heard there is some interest, though another Senior Open is unlikely as long as the Champions Tour comes to Greater Des Moines on an annual basis. “I wouldn’t like to see the Principal go away for a Senior Open,” Eger said. “I don’t think both could be done in the same year. It wouldn’t be fair to either one of them.” But the USGA hosts 13 championships, offering a variety of possibilities. “I don’t know what scale the club would be interested in doing something,” Eger said. “Obviously it’s a very healthy area for the USGA to come and play. That’s why the Senior Open was played here, because the community was so excited to have something.” Eichelberger returned to the Des Moines Golf and Country Club earlier this week, to have dinner and remember. “I always love to come back to Des Moines,” Eichelberger said. “I’ve got good memories.” Register columnist/golf writer Rick Brown ANDREA MELENDEZ/THE REGISTER
Dave Eichelberger chips from the fringe on No. 18. He finished 8 over at the end of the second-round play. Lonnie Nielsen is the only leader after four holes, putting him 6 under, with a bunch of golfers right behind him. s0531principalgolf – May 30- Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines – Second round of Principal Charity Classic

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