It's On, San Diego
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/18/14
Last Tuesday, we told you that a plan for the USGA to bring the 2021 U.S. Open Championship to Torrey Pines Golf Course (South) in California required only approval by the San Diego City Council.

On Monday evening, March 17, the council gave unanimous approval to the plan — and thankfully, nobody was stupid enough to speak against the proposal. Mayor Kevin Faulconer certainly was on-board; he told the council that "[t]his is a tremendous opportunity for our great city."

Former City Councilmember Michael Zucchet, chair of the city's new Municipal Golf Committee, had this rather telling analysis:
"Usually, when you hear good news that you're getting an international sporting event coming to your city, you say, 'OK, how screwed did I get? How much did it cost me?'

In this agreement, you're going to make money on this event, which is just amazing."
In his report, Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes that the USGA will pay $2.5 million to the city's Golf Enterprise Fund for use of the course, while sharing hospitality revenues that might produce as much as $1.7 million for the city's general fund. It is worth noting that the $2.5 million is five times as much as the USGA paid the City of San Diego for the 2008 U.S. Open.

Mark Marney is the city's golf manager and, curiously, said he did not anticipate significant changes to the South Course for the 2021. This is interesting because some of the design changes to the South wrought by architect Rees Jones have proven unpopular with several PGA Tour pros, perhaps most notably, Phil Mickelson. In fact, "Lefty" and his design team are working on a redesign and partial reconstruction of the Torrey Pines North Course. The start of that construction project is planned for February of 2015, immediately following the PGA Tour's annual event at Torrey Pines.

The 2008 U.S. Open was an unqualified success, in part because of the very memorable Monday playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate. That championship also set corporate and merchandise sales records, and was the second-most attended U.S. Open ever.

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H-T: Geoff Shackelford

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Image via Twitter, Farmers Insurance Open

[ comments ]
Dusty23 says:
I have never played it or seen it in person but every year when the regular tour stop is there I find the course pretty unexciting to look at on TV. I know it requires a club that wants it, but I would love to see the Open at Riveria.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Dusty23: Very interesting point about Riviera. In 1998, the USGA awarded the U.S. Senior Open to Riviera, but they barely sold 10,000 tickets — very disappointing.

Then in 1999, the Senior Open went to Des Moines Golf & Country Club. Even the practice rounds sold out. And in 2017, Des Moines G&CC will host the Solheim Cup. And I'll predict right now that it will be sold out, too.
mmontisano says:
and if Tiger Woods isn't in contention in that Open, do you think they'll make as much as the last time?
Torleif Sorenson says:
Yeah, there is the "Tiger Factor"...
[ post comment ]
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