USGA confident Winged Foot will host U.S. Open
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The United States Golf Association is confident the U.S. Open will be able to proceed at Winged Foot Golf Club outside New York City after the tournament was pushed from June to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are focused singularly on Winged Foot," John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships for the USGA, told ESPN's Bob Harig. "Once we got the September dates, that was our thinking. Time is on our side. We did look at multiple scenarios, but given the recent news, we felt we could focus there.
"Winged Foot is a special place for us. And the golf course will be amazing. And to be able to do this in New York, where things have been so challenging, will put an (exclamation) point on it. We see Winged Foot as our sole focus."
The course is located in Westchester County, previously one of the country's COVID-19 hotspots. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been gradually reopening sections of the state, and New York City is scheduled to reopen June 8.
Golf's governing bodies slotted the U.S. Open for Sept. 17-20 when they re-worked this season's schedule in April. The event appears on track to run, but whether spectators will be in attendance remains to be seen.
"We are cautiously optimistic that we will have spectators," Bodenhamer said. "I'm looking at it as glass half full. Gov. Cuomo was very encouraging about wanting to reopen sports and we're going to be respectful of what New York and Westchester County wants us to do."
Winged Foot has hosted the U.S. Open five times, first doing so in 1929. It was the site of one of the most famous moments in tournament history in 2006 when Phil Mickelson double-bogeyed No. 18 on Sunday to lose the championship by one stroke.
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