Tupelo's Thomas qualifies for U.S. Senior Open

PHILADELPHIA – Oxford native and Tupelo resident Steve Thomas qualified for the U.S. Senior Open on Monday.

Thomas shot a 6-under par 66 at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, beating out 36 other players for one spot. Jackson's Charlie Callaway was second with a 67.

Thomas turned 50 on May 31, making him eligible for the Open, which will be played July 6-9 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.

“That's the first time I wanted to get old,” Thomas said.

Thomas led the PGA Tour in driving distance in 1988, and in 1984 he played in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., home of this week's Open.

He's bounced around some small senior tours the past 18 months, as well as the Tight Lies Tour, which used to have a tournament in Tupelo.

Thomas is the son of Pepper Thomas, the director of golf at Ole Miss and a former major league baseball player.