Open Trophy Making Its Way to Chambers Bay
By Joey Flyntz, USGA
The U.S. Open Championship ventures into new territory in June, as golf’s ultimate test heads to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. This year’s fanfare kicks off well before a champion is crowned at Chambers Bay, as the U.S. Open Trophy also covers new ground, traveling across the country before arriving in University Place, Wash.
As part of the USGA’s Open For All™ program, the U.S. Open Trophy Tour, in partnership with Lexus, began on April 29 in New York City. The tour is making multiple stops at golf courses, TV stations and Major League Baseball stadiums along the way before arriving in the state of Washington on June 6 and at Chambers Bay on June 14.
In an effort to share with people across the country the tradition and history of the U.S. Open, the championship trophy is being transported to the West Coast by car, in a 2015 Lexus LX luxury utility vehicle.
One of four Texas stops on the trophy tour was Stevens Park Golf Course in Dallas on May 16. As with all stops on the tour, fans were able to take pictures with the trophy, and were encouraged to tweet using the #usopenforall and #lexusgolf hashtags for the chance to win prizes.
Fernando Gonzalez, of Dallas, one of the attendees at Stevens Park, came away impressed.
“What really stood out to me was the precision and exactness of every letter of every name etched into the trophy,” said Gonzalez, 28. “You can really appreciate the time it took to carve every letter in there. I imagine it’s done by hand… I started at the first name and went all the way to Martin Kaymer’s name from his U.S. Open championship at Pinehurst last year. You can kind of replay his round in your mind, and it’s like every letter of his name that’s etched into the trophy represents one of the amazing shots he hit that week.”
Martin van der Merwe and his parents took pride in seeing their countrymen’s names etched on the trophy.
“We’re from South Africa, so we saw some familiar names: Gary Player, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen,” Martin said.
After a stop in Arizona, the trophy is scheduled to arrive in Washington on June 6, at The Home Course in DuPont, host site of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.
U.S. Open hopefuls can see the trophy on June 8 at the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at Tumble Creek Golf Course in Cle Elum. The trophy will be on-site at Chambers Bay beginning on June 14 to coincide with the celebration of Flag Day. On June 16, the trophy will be on display at the Bob Jones Award Ceremony, where Barbara Nicklaus will join her husband Jack, the 1975 recipient, by receiving the USGA’s highest honor. The trophy’s final destination is downtown Seattle, where it will be displayed for the entirety of the USGA’s viewing party and fan celebration, the Open For All Fan Experience, from June 17-21 at South Lake Union Park.
Joey Flyntz is an associate writer for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com. The Texas Golf Association provided information included in this article.