Don't Rain On My Parade: Weather Issues Could Jeopardize Merion's U.S. Open Future
After the problems caused by heavy rains ahead of this week's U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, it is "difficult to envision a scenario in which the charming little layout hosts" the tournament again, according to Frank Fitzpatrick of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The U.S. Open's history is "filled with courses that have hosted the event -- often more than once -- and then disappeared from the unofficial rotation." While there often "appears to be little logic to the selection process, the USGA clearly has attempted to incorporate public courses and newer ones without much of a historic pedigree." Market size and population density also "seem to be significant factors in the 2000s." But the decision "isn't always the USGA's" to make, as U.S. Open courses occasionally "eliminate themselves from consideration." Some courses "desperately want in." Cherry Hills Country Club, Oak Hill Country Club and the Inverness Golf Club all have "undergone significant redesigns in recent years, presumably with landing another Open in mind" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/12).
BRIDGE TO SUCCESS: In Delaware, Jeff Wolfe writes the USGA realizes that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s "cooperation was vital to the tournament’s success." When the USGA awarded the U.S. Open to Merion seven years ago, it "knew there would be a number of logistical challenges." One of those was "finding a way to get fans to and from the course in an orderly fashion." The "best way the USGA found it could happen would be to put a pedestrian bridge just behind Haverford College over SEPTA tracks that would lead to the golf club’s main entrance." The bridge will carry "thousands of spectators per day as it is where the main shuttles from Rose Tree Park and PPL Park will drop off and pick up fans the rest of the week" (DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES, 6/12).