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A return to Torrey Pines

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SAN DIEGO – Returning to the scene of his last major victory may not have made Tiger Woods nostalgic but his first trip back to Torrey Pines since his historic U.S. Open victory in 2008 did raise questions about the seaside muni’s place in the national championship rotation.

Despite hosting one of the most successful, both competitively and financially, U.S. Opens Torrey Pines has not been slotted in to host a second national championship, which seemed like a foregone conclusion following the ’08 event.

“Personally I thought it was a huge success,” Woods smiled when asked if he’d like to see the U.S. Open return to SoCal.

Rocco Mediate, who Woods beat in a Monday playoff in 2008 on the South Course, was more direct.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” Mediate said. “I thought it was a great venue. There was a zillion people here and the playoff was ridiculous. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, so I’m surprised.”

The U.S. Golf Association has maintained that Torrey Pines is still an Open candidate, but the next open dates for the national championship will be in 2018 and 2020 which would mean there would be back-to-back West Coast Opens (Pebble Beach is scheduled to host the 2019 event). It’s an option the USGA has seemed reluctant to embrace, which is bad news for Torrey Pines and Tiger.