USGA responds to ticket dilemma

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Fans who attended Thursday’s rain-shortened opening round of the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black will be able to use that ticket to see any golf played Monday or get a partial refund if play ends Sunday.

USGA executive director David Fay (pictured) announced Friday that tickets issued for Thursday can be used for any play Monday, whether it will be the completion of the 72 holes because of the inclement weather or an 18-hole playoff should one be necessary.

If there is no golf on Monday – a long shot considering the second round was not going to be completed Friday and more bad weather was forecast for Saturday – those holding tickets for Thursday would be eligible for a 50 percent refund.

If there is less than 90 minutes of golf either Saturday or Sunday, those ticketholders will also be able to attend Monday.

Golfers were on the course for 3 hours, 16 minutes before play was suspended by heavy rain Thursday. It was called for the day around 2 p.m.

“The reality is that we’re sorry for those 34,000 fans who came out yesterday and didn’t see more golf,” Fay said Friday. “And since that time we have been talking about a solution, a possible solution.”

About 2 p.m. Friday, the solution was announced.

The USGA’s ticket policy calls for no refund or rain check once a certain amount of golf has been played, although no specific amount of time is stated.

“We understand that our ticket policy is both vague and rigid, and I think some people were upset with the vagueness of it and some people were upset with the rigidity, they didn’t like the message,” Fay said. “Certainly in the future we’re going to have to amend our policy to provide more information to the ticket purchasers as to what our policy is.”

Only two Opens – 1959 and 1983 – of the 108 contested were forced to a Monday finish because of weather. Thirty-three Opens, including last year’s at Torrey Pines when Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate, have gone an extra day because of playoffs.

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