SBD/June 18, 2012/Events and Attractions

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  • USGA Exec Dir Mike Davis Expects To Return To Olympic Club, Calls It A "Great Site"

    This year's U.S. Open at The Olympic Club unfolded smoothly, without major glitches

    USGA Exec Dir Mike Davis expects the U.S. Open “to one day return to Olympic for a sixth time,” according to Ron Kroichick of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Davis said, "I can't imagine we wouldn't want to come back here again. It's a great site in so many respects." This year’s event at the Olympic Club “unfolded smoothly, without major glitches.” The Lake Course produced “a stout test with few complaints from the players.” This was the “third Open in five years in California -- following Torrey (San Diego) in 2008 and Pebble in '10 -- and that's no coincidence.” West Coast venues “allow NBC to push the weekend telecasts into prime time on the East Coast, usually a big ratings boost.” They also allow Davis “to avoid the rain-softened conditions that led to last year's festival of birdies at Congressional, outside Washington, D.C.” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/18). In California, Jay Paris wrote many around San Diego “wonder why the U.S. Golf Association brains haven't set a date for the tournament to return to Torrey Pines.” But with future locations determined through ‘19, “those who want it in our parts must remain patient” (NCTIMES.com, 6/17). GOLF WORLD's Geoff Shackelford writes, "Let's face it, West Coast majors just work better." The U.S. Open is "just better when it is played somewhere close to the Pacific Ocean." The weather is "comfortable, and rain is almost guaranteed not to soften the course and mess with schedules" (GOLFWORLDMONDAY.com, 6/18).

    CELL PHONE CHATTER
    : In S.F., Benny Evangelista noted IBM, a big sponsor of this year's U.S. Open, “is using the golf championship to showcase cloud computing technologies that instantly deliver a wealth of information to fans, including scores, stats and video.” But those attending the tournament “can't access that information,” because the USGA bans all cell phones and other portable electronic devices at its events. However USGA Managing Dir of Information Technologies & Digital Media Jessica Carroll said that the organization “is considering lifting the ban and is not opposed to smart phones, but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.” Carroll said, "We want to make sure if and when that happens, we're doing it exactly the right way, so that it's great for our fans, great for our players and great for the environment.” Evangelista noted IBM has “about 18 workers on site to monitor the data stream that feeds the information from the USGA's redesigned website and a U.S. Open app for Apple and Android mobile devices.” IBM Program Manager for Sponsorship Marketing John Kent said the apps are “designed for the person on the go.” Evangelista noted the apps are just not for fans “who actually attend the tournament” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/16).

    YOUTH MOVEMENT: In San Jose, Mark Purdy writes Webb Simpson, who won the U.S. Open yesterday, is a “fresh-scrubbed 26-year-old package of talent who is a new face to casual sports fans but is very respected in golf circles” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/18). In California, Mark Whicker writes Simpson “is an atypical player, as he proved last year by nearly winning the PGA Tour money title, but he is not alone.” When “you look up at the leaderboards these days, you see a lot of star-spangled youth.” Simpson said, "I think the game might be changing a little bit. The prime time of a player used to be in the mid 30s, but now it might be moving down into the 20s.” Whicker: “American golf is what’s happening.” Simpson said, “It’s the Tiger effect. Players are getting better at an earlier age” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/18).

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