John Elway, who has led the Denver Broncos to Super Bowl victories as both a player and a general manager, has been named honorary chairman of the 39th U.S. Senior Open Championship. The United States Golf Association (USGA) will conduct the U.S. Senior Open on The Broadmoor Golf Club’s East Course from June 28-July 1, 2018.
Elway is in his sixth season as the club’s executive vice president of football operations/general manager. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility, following a 16-year career with the Broncos from 1983-98 that included five Super Bowl appearances, including back-to-back victories in 1997-98. Elway became the first starting quarterback for a Super Bowl champion to also win as a general manager when the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in February.
Elway’s tenure as a Broncos executive coincides with one of the most successful periods in team history. Denver has posted the second-most wins in the NFL under Elway (2011-present) while capturing five consecutive AFC West Division titles, two AFC Championships and last season’s Super Bowl. Elway also has signed or extended the contracts of 14 players who have combined for 24 Pro Bowl selections with the Broncos during the last five years.
“I’m very proud and excited to be named honorary chairman of the 2018 U.S. Senior Open at the historic Broadmoor Golf Club,” Elway said. “The Broadmoor has been such a big part of Colorado golf history and a longtime supporter of the game. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed playing the East Course and have so many special memories. It’s easy to see why the resort is regarded as one of the world’s most celebrated golf destinations.
“The Broadmoor has hosted some of golf’s biggest tournaments, and it’s the perfect home for the 2018 U.S. Senior Open. I could not be more honored to help support this prestigious event.”
Elway, 56, a low-handicap golfer who has played in two Colorado Senior Opens and is a past president of three-time U.S. Open host Cherry Hills Country Club, is responsible for overseeing all Bronco football operations. He returned to the organization in 2010 after eight years as co-owner and chief executive officer of the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush. Elway was named AFL Executive of the Year in 2003 and helped the Crush capture ArenaBowl XIX two years later.
“John Elway is one of the great athletes of his generation, an accomplished football executive and an outstanding citizen of the Rocky Mountain State,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “He has also served the game of golf in various capacities and will be a tremendous ambassador for the U.S. Senior Open at a venue that has been a respected USGA partner.”
The starting quarterback for the Broncos in five Super Bowls, Elway capped his playing career in 1998 by winning Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl XXXIII. When he retired, he was the all-time winningest quarterback in NFL history with a career mark of 148-82-1 (64.3 percent), with the second-most passing yards (51,475) and third-most passing touchdowns (300).
Elway earned a franchise-record nine Pro Bowl selections and was voted the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1987 and AFC Offensive Player of the Year twice (1987, 1993).
Additionally, Elway was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. He was a consensus All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up at Stanford University, where he established numerous Pacific-10 Conference and school career passing records en route to being the No. 1 overall selection in the 1983 NFL Draft. He was also twice chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft (18th round by Kansas City in 1979 and second round by New York Yankees in 1981).
“Few people are so integrally associated with a state as John Elway is to Colorado,” said Jack Damioli, president and CEO of The Broadmoor. “We could not be more proud than to have him as the honorary chairman of the 2018 U.S. Senior Open in a year that also marks The Broadmoor’s centennial anniversary as a legacy resort that has been a friend to golf and supported the game on all levels.”
In his honorary role, Elway will support the eighth USGA championship to be held at The Broadmoor, and the sixth on the resort’s East Course, which is set in the scenic Rocky Mountain foothills. The course was the site of the 2008 U.S. Senior Open, when Eduardo Romero became the second Argentinean to win the Senior Open, joining Roberto De Vicenzo, who won the inaugural championship in 1980. Romero finished at 6-under-par 274 to post a four-stroke victory over Fred Funk.
The U.S. Senior Open Championship for golfers age 50 and older is open to any professional and any amateur with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4. In 2017, the U.S. Senior Open will be played June 29-July 2 at Salem Country Club, in Peabody, Mass. The 2019 championship is scheduled for June 27-30 at the Warren Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, in Notre Dame, Ind.