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No Refund at U.S. Open

There’s a really intriguing column by Michael Bamberger in Golf Magazine’s website today. The basis is this — if you went to the U.S. Open in the biblical flood yesterday, you’re out of luck when it comes to your tickets. Better off having handed your $100 to a homeless guy on the street — at least that way you might have left feeling better about yourself. What kind of sporting event runs this way? Any other examples out there? Tournament for the people my ass.

Anyway, here’s what Bamberger had to say:

Now granted, the USGA is in a tough spot, with this rain of biblical proportions soaking the golf course. But for crying out loud, you play about one-quarter of the day, and you’re not giving refunds? You’re not inviting the Thursday fans to come for Monday’s golf if there is any? (And that of course could happen.) You’re not giving them a credit to a future USGA event in the New York area? You’re not going to let them apply the cost to a visit to the USGA museum, and a free bucket of balls at its testing center? Or to a green fee at one of the courses at Bethpage?

Bamberger thinks this decision will have an impact on the USGA’s membership — which doesn’t operate like the RCGA’s deal. In other words, you have to sign up to become a member — you aren’t one simply because you belong to a club.

Oh, and Andrew Parr from London, Ont. is no longer leading the U.S. Open. Shocking that.

That said he’s gotten a lot of media attention for his health condition. Parr, as you might recall, had a stroke a couple of years ago and now appears recovered. It is a great story about a fine golfer.

A former Texas A&M golfer from London, Ontario, Parr, 26, thought his career was over until medication and a rigorous rehabilitation program eventually got him back on the course. He played on the Canadian Tour last year, made 10 of 12 cuts and is playing the same circuit this season. He qualified to play this week in the Open at a sectional event in Roslyn, Wash.

 Update: The USGA decided to do the right thing — eventually.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • For comparison, look at other sports. I went to Wimbledon several years ago and the day was completely rained out. No refunds or privileges to other days. However, they will give you access to the same tickets for the same Wimbledon day (e.g. Day 1 or Day 3 etc) the following year. That works for someone who lives in London, UK…not so much for someone who travels to Wimbledon for the event from say…Toronto….

    US Open policy, while intuitively unfair, is not outside the realm of what other sports do….

  • I understand most sports call it a day after two hours. It is unfortunate that the US OPEN sells out now otherwise they would be able to allow the Thu patrons to come on Friday.
    Amazing how the press has jumped on the USGA though.
    It’s also amazing how the press is all singing the same song about this, about the course, about Prhrill, about NY fans.
    And guess what, even the UK newspapers have at least a half page about golf today, now that is amazing!

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