defeat Jennifer Song for her second WAPL title.
Last June, the USGA announced the course will
be the host site for the 2017 U.S. Open Champi-
onship, marking the first time that champion-
ship will be conducted in the state of Wisconsin.
“That decision (to award the U.S. Open to
Erin Hills) gives you a sense of our comfort level
with the Erin Hills” said Thomas O’Toole Jr., the
chairman of the USGA’s Competitions Com-
mittee and member of the USGA’s Executive
Erin Hills, located 35 miles northwest of
Milwaukee, sits on magnificent, centuries-old,
glacial terrain. The course has had a some-
what tortured brief life, complete with financial
problems, ownership changes, and course
makeovers. Local businessman and avid golfer
Andrew Ziegler stepped in and bought the
course in 2009 and the troubles came to an end.
Since then, Erin Hills has embarked on two
significant course improvement phases over the
past two years. On the eve of the U.S. Amateur,
USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said the
course was ready and unlikely to need any more
than a few minor changes to hold an Open.
Who knew Seth Raynor knew Wisconsin?
The legendary golf course architect designed
golf courses across America, but few would
have guessed that the western Milwaukee sub-
urbs would be home to a Raynor design.
Blue Mound G&CC was designed by the C.B.
Macdonald protégé in 1924, and it served as
the companion stroke-play course last week for
the Amateur. The par-70 golf course played at
a modest 6,622 yards, and the players loved it.
The golf course hosted the PGA Championship
in 1933, won by Gene Sarazen, 5 and 4, over
Willie Goggin. It was Sarazen’s third and final
PGA Championship, for which he earned $1,000.
The course also hosted the 1940 Women’s
Western Open where Babe Zaharias defeated
Mrs. Russell Mann by a score of 5 and 4.
There was speculation at Erin Hills last
week that Riviera Country Club and the USGA
have held discussions about the Los Angeles
club hosting the 2017 U.S. Amateur. The 2017
Walker Cup is scheduled for nearby Los Angeles
Country Club that year, and the proximity of the
championships would make it convenient for the
U.S. and GB&I Walker Cup teams to play in the
Amateur. Hosting the U.S. Amateur also would
enhance Riviera’s chances of hosting another
U.S. Open, which is openly covets.
A date change for the 2017 Amateur or
Walker Cup would be necessary to bring the two
championships closer on the calendar, as the
Amateur is scheduled for August 14-20, and the
Walker Cup is booked for September 9-10. One
full week between the two competitions would
be optimal, allowing both teams time to conduct
practice sessions before the match.
Veteran Golfweek amateur golf scribe Ron
Balicki covered his 25th consecutive U.S. Ama-
teur at Erin Hills. By his own calculation, 87
percent of the 312-man field was not born when
he covered his first Amateur, in 1987 at Jupiter
Hills Club in Florida.
The 2012 U.S. Amateur will be played at
Cherry Hills CC, the Denver course made
famous by Arnold Palmer when he won the
1960 U.S. Open there.
Cherry Hills will also host the BMW Champi-
onship, one of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff
events, in 2014. The Amateur moves up on the
calendar beginning next summer, in order to
better accommodate the U.S. college calendar.
It will be played August 13-19. l
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