SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - On Thursday, the 40th U.S. Senior Open kicked off at the Warren Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
The craziness began bright and early at 7:30 a.m., and the U.S. Senior Open got started in a special way.
That’s because Rochester High School graduate and Peru, Indiana native Chris Smith was the first to tee off on Hole 1 at Warren Golf Course.
Smith was actually the open leader after he made par on the par-4 first hole, but he ended up shooting 6-over for the day.
While Thursday didn’t go so well for Smith on the links, he couldn’t have been more honored to tee off the tournament at Notre Dame.
"I was fine until I heard 'Peru, Indiana,'" Smith said. "I am really proud of Indiana, and when I heard that, it was just like, 'Oh,' and I really, honestly thought I was going to start crying, so I just got up and hit it as fast as I could and got off of there."
Smith hopes Friday will be less emotional so he can focus on golf.
"I know the first shot will be easier than it was today," Smith said. "I will be in a little different spot because I will have to play good tomorrow. Hopefully, we got today taken care of, and tomorrow, hopefully play a little bit better. [Hopefully, it's] more normal tomorrow."