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A year after both of the USGA’s national opens were played without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing body announced Monday that it plans to re-open its gates to the general public for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.
Though it did not release a figure, the USGA said that a “limited number of fans” would be permitted to attend the championships, both set to be played in California. The U.S. Open will take place June 17-29 at Torrey Pines’ South Course in San Diego while the U.S. Women’s Open will be played two weeks prior, June 3-6, at The Olympic Club’s Lake Course in San Francisco.
“Last year, we missed the energy that fans bring to our U.S. Open championships,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships. “We are grateful to our local and state health and safety officials in California to be in a position to welcome some fans back this year to witness the greatest players in the world contending for these prestigious championships, while working to maintain the health and safety of all involved.”
The USGA added that it will “continue to monitor developments and guidelines in California and will update local policies and procedures on the championships’ respective websites as required.”
For both championships, the following guidelines will be in place:
- Face coverings will be required for fans, staff and volunteers, and must be worn at all times, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status;
- All fans, staff, and volunteers will be required to abide by social distancing guidelines;
- State of California residents must show proof that vaccination against COVID-19 has occurred at least 14 days prior to the championships or that a negative test result has been received;
- It will be mandatory for all out-of-state fans to provide proof that vaccination against COVID-19 has occurred at least 14 days prior to the championship;
- Information regarding COVID-19 testing and vaccination verification will be made available on uswomensopen.com and usopen.com;
- Sanitization stations will be available throughout the grounds, and spectators will be permitted to bring hand sanitizer.
Of course, the most notable guideline is the vaccination requirement for out-of-state fans, who will need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to the championship.
Ticket information will be available on uswomensopen.com and usopen.com.
The PGA Tour has contested several events with reduced crowds this year while the Masters Tournament also recently welcomed limited patron attendance. The LPGA, though, has yet to offer general-admission tickets since the tour resumed play last July.