ARDMORE, Pa. – This week’s U.S. Open is fraught with logistical concerns – and many of them don’t even have anything to do with the heavy rains that have been enveloping Merion Golf Club.
One such concern is the fact that competitors will need to be shuttled from the practice range on the West Course to starting tees on Nos. 1 and 11 on the East Course, both of which are about a mile down the road.
“It took about 20 minutes from the practice range, through all the blockages in the road and the security and all that stuff,” Ernie Els said.
Competitors have been asked to get into a shuttle van at least 20 minutes before their tee time in order to avoid missing it. But a very real possibility exists that a player could miss his tee time and be disqualified because of a logistical issue.
It wouldn’t be the first time.
Back at the 1993 U.S. Open, Seve Ballesteros missed his tee time when major traffic jams stifled the roads leading into Baltusrol Golf Club. Others have had similar fates when dealing with logistical problems at previous editions of this event.
David Toms recalled that just three years ago at Pebble Beach, he nearly missed his tee time off the 10th tee, far from the clubhouse, eventually jumping out of the shuttle and racing across the 13th fairway on foot.