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2015 U.S. Open headed to new public course in Tacoma

2/8/2008 - Golf

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- Seven months after it opened for
public play, Chambers Bay can start preparing for the U.S. Open.

Chambers Bay, built over a former gravel pit along the lower
Puget Sound southwest of Seattle, was awarded the 2015 U.S. Open on
Friday. It will be the first U.S. Open held in the Pacific
Northwest.

"This is the first time the U.S. Open has been to Washington,
and we are confident that the golf course will provide a
challenging test for the best players in the world," said Jim
Hyler, chairman of the USGA's championship committee.

The announcement was made at the USGA's annual meeting in
Houston.

Taking the U.S. Open to Chambers Bay signals a continuing shift
toward municipal courses. When the 2015 U.S. Open is played, it
will be the third time in an eight-year period that the national
championship is played on a public golf course. Torrey Pines in San
Diego will host the U.S. Open this year, followed by Bethpage Black
on Long Island (which also hosted the U.S. Open in 2002).

Pierce County invested $21 million in Chambers Bay, which was
designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. with the goal of landing a
major. The USGA also awarded the 2010 U.S. Amateur to Chambers Bay.

"Our hard work has paid off, as we have done everything
possible to attract the attention of a prestigious championship,"
Pierce County executive John Ladenburg said. "Even so, we never
dreamed we'd be chosen by the USGA to host both the U.S. Amateur
and U.S. Open championships. Especially not so close to the opening
of the course. It is a true honor."

The last time the U.S. Open went to such a new golf course was
in 1970 at Hazeltine, a private club in Minnesota that was
designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened for play in 1962.

The Scottish-style course, featuring sandy terrain, views of
Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains and only one tree, opened
in June 2007 and has been named "Best New Course of the Year" by Golf
Magazine, second-best new course by Golfweek, and 2007 Course of the
Year by Travel & Leisure golf magazine.

Based on past U.S. Opens, county executive John Ladenburg
predicted that with capacity attendance of 60,000 to 64,000, the
total economic impact would be at least $100 million, compared with
$50 million taken in for the 2001 baseball All-Star Game in Seattle.