Posted: June 1, 2015 4:25 pm
By TIM GROSS
As the calendar flipped to June and the county took a breath between lines of early summer storms, USGA officials met with media at Lancaster Country Club Monday morning to discuss the U.S. Women’s Open, scheduled for July 6-12.
Here are some key numbers from media day:
2 — The number of large-scale parking lots for the general public. With Park City Center serving as the main public lot, spectators may park at Conestoga Valley High School Thursday through Sunday if provided a pass by USGA officials.
“It will be used for general public who live within a certain quadrant or region,” said Barry Deach, a championship director. “It’s a limited supply … the priority will go to zip codes who live within a quadrant east of the course. The closer you live, the higher the chances that you’ll get this hangtag.”
Deach said two or three other groups offered to discuss making parking available.
“They could be options for the future,” Deach said. “We didn’t feel that it was necessary for this one.”
Deach expects shuttles — provided by two Lancaster-based companies — to cover the trip between public lots and the course in less than 20 minutes and no more than 30.
2.5 — The approximate duration, in years, that a public safety team developed the transportation logistics. The committee, chaired by Mike Brubaker, included representatives from Manheim Township, East Lampeter Township and PennDOT.
“I think this committee has been the most active,” said Jerry Hostetter, a Lancaster Country Club member and general tournament chairman. “They’ve met the most times. Put more energy and hours into this.”
Hostetter expects signage detailing detours and traffic patterns to go up in advance of the championship week, alerting the local community of ways to get around the area during the tournament.
3 — The percentage of badges remaining for the 1761 Club, the seven-day ticket package for spectators headquartered in a farmhouse-turned-lodge on the country club’s grounds.
Meanwhile, Deach expects single-day tickets to remain available through the championship.
“We haven’t seen a huge surge,” he said of sales, “but it’s steady.”
$0 — The price of admission for children 17 and under who accompany a ticketed adult. During the practice round, scheduled for Wednesday of tournament week, children children may sit in designated areas on the course “inside the ropes,” a first for a women’s golf tournament and a unique spectator experience.
“We know of no other sport, football, basketball, hockey,” said championship director Matt Sawicki, “where kids can actually sit on the playing field.”
82 — The number of prior USGA championships held in Pennsylvania, including the 2014 Mid-Amateur Championship at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, the 2013 Open at Merion in Ardmore and the 2010 Women’s Open at Oakmont Country Club.
Lancaster Country Club will host the 70th U.S. Women’s Open, the ninth held in Pennsylvania.
“In my personal opinion,” said Ben Kimball, a championship director, “this (course) is top-five in the state of Pennsylvania.”
1,873 — the number of players entered, a U.S. Women’s Open record. They passed through the tournament’s 25 qualifying sites, including those in England, Japan, China and Korea.
“Our quality of field,” said Matt Sawicki, “improves every single year, and I think we anticipate, each year, setting a new record just by the way the U.S. Women’s Open is trending at this point.”
Defending U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie did not attend Monday’s media session.
— After debating on whether to make the 14th hole the 18th hole, and vice versa, officials decided to keep the course consistent with architect William Flynn’s original 1919 design. “We feel that, for the history of Lancaster Country Club,” Kimball said, “it’s important to play it the way Mr. Flynn intended it to be.”
— Officials want the putting greens to play fast with a target speed between 11 feet and 11.5 feet on the stimpmeter scale.
— The mowing patterns for each hole will go in a direction toward the putting green.
— Officials have not decided on which three holes to use for an aggregate playoff in the case of a tie.
— An on-site meteorologist will advise the event coordinators throughout championship week.