Thu, Mar 20, 2014 - Page 18 News List

US Open to return to Torrey Pines in 2021

AP, NEW YORK

Marc Leishman tees off on the third hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open tournament at the Torrey Pines municipal golf course’s south course in San Diego, California, on Jan. 28 last year.

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY

Torrey Pines, one of the most scenic courses in the US, is to host the US Open in 2021, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced on Tuesday.

In the first US Open that went prime time, Tiger Woods hobbled his way around Torrey Pines and made two eagles in six holes to take the 54-hole lead, made an all-or-nothing birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff and won his 14th major on a shattered left leg in a playoff that went 19 holes.

“When we look back on 2008, I think one of the things we all talked about is: ‘How can we possibly top that?’” USGA executive director Mike Davis said on Tuesday.

“From my perspective, that was one of the great US Opens ever,” Davis added.

He is to find out seven years from now.

The San Diego city council approved a proposal that brings the national championship back to the public golf course that was built along the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean. Being on the west coast, it tends to get the most viewers.

That 2008 US Open was the first that truly was shown in prime time. When the next US Open is held at Torrey Pines, it will be the sixth time in 14 years that it is played on the west coast.

Davis said it is not ideal for viewers in Europe and other parts of the world. Graeme McDowell won at Pebble Beach in 2010 when the US Open ended at about 2am in his native Northern Ireland.

“It depends on your point of view on whether that’s good or not, but certainly from a domestic standpoint, we just get a bigger audience when we go west,” he said.

Torrey Pines hosts a PGA Tour event every year, which Woods has won seven times. Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan are the only players to win a regular PGA Tour event and a major championship on the same course in the same year. Woods has done it twice, at Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach in 2000.

“I was excited to hear that the US Open was returning to Torrey Pines,” Woods said in a statement. “I think it’s great, when the USGA can, to play the US Open at a public course. The last time it was there, it was an amazing event.”

“I think it’s a great decision returning to Torrey,” Woods said. “It’s a very special place to me.”

The city council voted unanimously on a proposal that, among other things, requires the USGA to pay US$2.5 million for a site fee (including parking areas) and allows the city to get 20 percent of hospitality sales.

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