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Torrey Pines Selected to Host 2021 U.S. Open
The U.S. Open will be returning to the site of Tiger Woods' 14th and most recent major victory, Torrey Pines in San Diego. The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that the municipal facility's South Course will host the 2021 U.S. Open, June 17-20.
The South Course is where Woods claimed a dramatic playoff victory over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open.
The announcement was made Tuesday at Torrey Pines with San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, City Council members, city officials and USGA senior leadership.
"The USGA is proud to bring the U.S. Open back to Torrey Pines, the site of one of the most memorable and compelling national championships in history, thanks to Tiger and Rocco," said Thomas J. O'Toole Jr., USGA president. "As in 2008, we are excited to partner with the City of San Diego to bring golf's most democratic major championship back to such a great public venue. The San Diego area embraced the 2008 U.S. Open and we are seeing the same enthusiasm for the return of the U.S. Open in 2021. We have a great partner in the City of San Diego and this community loves golf."
Torrey Pines, a 36-hole, city-owned facility, hosts more than 100,000 rounds a year on its North and South courses.
"Bringing the U.S. Open back to Torrey Pines is significant in many ways," said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. "In 2021, the players and spectators have an opportunity for a world-class experience as evidenced by the tremendous success of the 2008 championship."
City leaders are looking forward to the return of one of the world's largest sporting events, one that provides a significant impact to the regional economy.
"The City of San Diego is proud to welcome back the United States Golf Association and host another major championship," said Mayor Faulconer. "Torrey Pines is a fantastic venue for the U.S. Open and a great opportunity to showcase San Diego's first-class hotels, restaurants and shops. Just as San Diego served as home to one of the greatest championships in golf history in 2008, we're confident that we will once again provide an exciting and dynamic venue for 2021."
The selection of Torrey Pines marks the second time the South Course will have hosted the U.S. Open and its third USGA championship. While it boasts a long pedigree of hosting professional tournaments, Torrey Pines can also lay claim to one of the greatest moments in golf history.
In the final round of the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods, playing with a leg injury, holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force an 18-hole Monday playoff with Mediate. Woods again birdied the 18th hole the following day to forge another tie before winning on the 91st hole for his third U.S. Open title and 14th major.
"I was excited to hear that the U.S. Open was returning to Torrey Pines," said Woods. "I think it's great, when the USGA can, to play the U.S. Open at a public course. The last time it was there, it was an amazing event. There was a huge turnout, it was really well run and the fans were excited and very supportive. It was a great atmosphere.
"I've been fortunate to have played well there and have great memories of the course. I was pretty young when I first went there with my dad during the old Andy Williams tournament. It was one of the few pro events I got to see. I wanted to watch some of the SoCal guys like Mark O'Meara and John Cook play.
"I think it's a great decision returning to Torrey. It's a very special place to me."
The first USGA championship on the South Course at Torrey Pines, the 1998 U.S. Amateur Public Links, featured a pair of future major champions in the 36-hole final when South Africa's Trevor Immelman defeated Jason Dufner, 3 and 2. Immelman won the 2008 Masters, while Dufner captured the 2013 PGA Championship.
William P. Bell and his son, William F. Bell, designed the layouts at Torrey Pines, which opened in 1957. Prior to being converted into golf courses, the land was part of Camp Callan, a naval training center. Bell's son finished much of the initial design after his father's death. Rees Jones completed a redesign of South in 2002. The facility is named after the Torrey pine tree, which is native to the area and to Santa Rosa Island and is distinguished by its clusters of five pine needles.
Torrey Pines has been home to a PGA Tour event since 1968, with past winners including seven-time champion Woods, three-time winner Phil Mickelson, two-time champions Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Billy Casper and Johnny Miller. The 2014 Farmers Insurance Open, played on the North and South courses, was won by Scott Stallings on January 26.
The facility also hosts the San Diego City Amateur Golf Championship every June and the Junior World Golf Championships in July.
The 2021 event will be the 13th U.S. Open played in the state of California and will mark the fifth site in the upcoming eight U.S. Opens that a public course is the host. Future U.S. Open will be held at: Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C. (2014); Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash. (2015); Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club (2016); Erin Hills, Erin, Wis. (2017); Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y. (2018); Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links (2019); and Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y. (2020).
The above report is courtesy of the USGA. For more information, visit www.usga.org.