Friday, August 16, 2013

Memory Lane - US Open, Merion Golf Club, 1981

As Dave and I have bemoaned many times over the last few months, it doesn't seem like Mom and Dad ever threw anything away. This makes for a mountain of stuff to go through at the old homestead, but you do want to take the time to go through things carefully because of the nuggets of good stuff that are worth saving. Mom had manila envelopes with mementos of various things from throughout our childhoods. While many of these are head scratchers as to why they were deemed important enough to save, every now and then there is a little treasure of a memory. This is one of those: my ticket to the 81st US Open Championship at Merion Golf Club, June 21 1981. The ticket is for Day 4, the final round on Sunday.

This was the first and only golf tournament I have ever been to. I would have just finished my freshman year of high school. Dad had gotten two tickets from somewhere, and I got to go. Even though the $18 ticket included parking privileges, we got there by taking the Media trolley from the Scenic Hills stop into the city and then the train out to Ardmore/Haverford where we caught a shuttle to the course. I have certain images in my head clearly, and remember being awed by the names of the players as they walked by fairly close to where we stood along the fairway of one of the holes (Jack Nicklaus, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, J C Snead...). We stayed in a few places for a while and watched rather than moving around a lot. A quick search reveals that David Graham won with a score of 273, and pocketed $55,000 for his effort. Nicklaus tied for 6th and took home $9,920. Times have changed.

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