August 11, 2021
Oakmont, Pennsylvania, USA
Oakmont Country Club
MIKE TROSTEL: Good morning, everyone. My name is Mike Trostel from the USGA communications team, and welcome to Oakmont Country Club.
Today we have an exciting announcement, and you'll be hearing from representatives from the USGA, from Oakmont, and Merion, and from the State of Pennsylvania.
First, it's my pleasure to welcome John Bodenhamer, the senior managing director of championships for the USGA. John?
JOHN BODENHAMER: Good morning, everyone. It's a great day, and welcome to Oakmont Country Club and the 121st U.S. Amateur Championship. I'm John Bodenhamer. I have the privilege of serving as the USGA senior managing director of championships, and it is truly a pleasure to be with you, all of you, this morning. What a great turnout.
It's also really great to be back in Pennsylvania and the city of champions. How's that?
As we speak, and it's really just behind us, all on that magnificent golf course behind us, the world's very best amateur players are competing for golf's most coveted title, National Amateur Champion, and I can tell you that is the strongest amateur field in the world year over year. We know that. We look at that. That's important to us.
So it's truly the best players amongst the best field for the most important championship in men's amateur golf, and we're proud of that at the USGA.
The player that takes home the Havemeyer Trophy will become -- think of this -- the 88th golfer in our history to win a USGA championship in Pennsylvania. Remarkable. We can't wait to see what unfolds this Sunday as we crown another U.S. amateur champion.
Today we're here to make more history and to add to that list of 88 USGA champions that have earned their trophy in Pennsylvania. We're proud to welcome several distinguished guests to help us. I'm honored to recognize each of them. First -- and I'll just say that I know this. He drove over last night to be with us. It shows you how important all of us here at the USGA think this announcement is here today.
Very proud to call him our friend, our CEO, Mike Whan. Mike?
Also from the state of Pennsylvania, I'd like to introduce the Honorable Jake Corman, Pennsylvania senate president pro tempore.
The honorable Jay Costa, Pennsylvania senate Democrat leader.
And the Honorable Carrie Lewis DelRosso, Pennsylvania state representative.
Also with us is Gregory Thall, Pennsylvania secretary of budget.
And Steven Heuer, director bureau of redevelopment, capital, and debt for the Pennsylvania Governor's budget office.
We also have with us some close friends, Oakmont Country Club president Ed Stack.
And Merion Golf Club championship committee chairman Buddy Marucci.
There are also numerous leaders from those respective clubs, as well as other distinguished guests and staff from all over with us today.
Again, we're really grateful that you would choose to join us today for this great announcement. It's really cool.
So without further ado, let's get to it. I'll let you listen to why you're here today. Please allow me to introduce the chairman of our USGA championship committee, Fred Perpall.
FRED PERPALL: Good morning. What a wonderful day. Honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, the United States Golf Association is elated to make two very special announcements regarding two incredible championship sites today.
First, we are proud to announce that we have selected Oakmont Country Club as our second U.S. Open anchor site.
With the addition of three U.S. Open championships to be staged on this William and Henry Fownes design, in 2034, 2042, and 2049.
It will also host the U.S. Women's Open championship in 2028, 2038, and the 2033 Walker Cup match and the 2046 U.S. Women's Amateur.
Becoming a U.S. Open anchor site carries great meaning, a celebration and recognition of the history made here, and the longstanding commitment to make history long into the future.
Oakmont continues to test the best golfers in the world, and this commitment means we will bring our U.S. Open to its storied layout with greater frequency. We are thankful to Oakmont for welcoming us and sharing in this day with us.
Oakmont has previously hosted 16 USGA championships with 9 U.S. Opens among them. We're thrilled to add to that number today.
To speak on behalf of Oakmont Country Club, please allow me to introduce you to Ed Stack, the club president.
ED STACK: Thank you. And thank you everyone for being here today. It is a pretty historic, pretty exciting day for all of us here at Oakmont in Pittsburgh and the State of Pennsylvania.
We at Oakmont couldn't be happier to be hosting a number of USGA championships through 2049, and the relationship with Oakmont and the USGA goes back to the dates of our founding family, the Fownes family, and the relationship they had and how important he was.
If Mr. Fownes was here today, he couldn't be happier, I suspect, with what we were able to announce today.
When you think about Oakmont and Mr. Fownes, he was really a genius to build this golf course with the express written reason to conduct National Championships, and he'd be so happy to know that the golf course that he designed back in 1903 has been able to handle the test of time all the way through 2049.
So to the USGA, thank you very much for the honor to hold all these championships going forward.
On behalf of our members, I'd like to thank the USGA, our local officials, members of our state golf for their help in giving the opportunity to showcase Oakmont, Pittsburgh, and the state of Pennsylvania to the world through 2049.
Oakmont, as we all know, is an exacting test of golf. It's a golf course that's totally aligned with the USGA's mission to identify the best players in the game. For approximately the next 30 years, our new champions will join the likes of Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Bobby Jones, Dustin Johnson, Paula Creamer, Ernie Els, and so many others as they etch their names in golf history.
I'd like to thank you all again, and hope you enjoy the 2021 U.S. Amateur and the future championships that are scheduled to be played here at Oakmont. Thank you.
FRED PERPALL: Pennsylvania, we're not done yet. Thank you, Ed, and thank you for your friendship.
We also look forward to crowning a U.S. Amateur champion with you this week.
The USGA is also exceptionally proud to announce that Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, outside of Philadelphia, will continue their National Championship run in hosting the 2030 and 2050 U.S. Opens and the 2034 and 2046 U.S. Women's Open championships, with more major championships to be announced at a later date.
The national record holder with 18 USGA championships staged at the iconic venue to date, Merion has no equal in golf. This moment means we'll see its signature red wicker baskets for years to come, and that the best male and female golfers in the world will continue to be tested there at the highest levels of the game.
The announcement comes with a commitment by Merion to host future championships, and for that, we are grateful and deeply honored. We can't wait to see what unfolds for the next 30 years and beyond at Merion.
Merion is a key longstanding partner of the USGA, and this is an important moment in perpetuating a relationship that has meant so much to much of us and to golf. Representing Merion Golf Club, please allow me to introduce you to Buddy Marucci, USGA championship and chair of Merion's championship committee.
BUDDY MARUCCI: Thank you, Fred, John. On behalf of Merion Golf Club, its members, and the board of directors, I'm going to thank the representatives from the State of Pennsylvania and the USGA for allowing us this opportunity to announce Merion's hosting of four U.S. Open championships to be held starting 2030 through 2050.
This extends our 117 years strategic partnership with the USGA and furthers our founder's mission to bring the best players in the world to compete on Hugh Wilson's timeless East Course.
We are humbled by this responsibility, but this announcement brings to us an exciting challenge to bring the best players in the game to Ardmore. Over the years, there have been countless iconic moments by the likes of Jones, Hogan, and Trevino, to name a few. We look forward to more of such moments and the creation of memories that will last a lifetime.
In closing, let me say that we started this journey in 2013, the Monday after the Open Championship was at Merion the last time. I cannot tell you how important the relationship and how meaningful the USGA is to Merion Golf Club.
It is our very core strategic moments that we talk about the USGA and how we will continue to be involved with USGA going forward.
In every instance, the USGA has been honest, truthful, candid, and empathetic to the needs of Merion Golf Club, and for that we are eternally grateful.
JOHN BODENHAMER: I always knew you were an athlete, Buddy. Way to pull that save out. That was great.
Well, you know, Ed, Buddy, and certainly Fred, what a powerful announcement. I just continue to pinch myself when I think about that lineup we just announced and all that's going to come.
It really is quite remarkable when you think of all that's been and all the championship memories that are yet to be made all the way through 2050, and some special years to celebrate from some past moments that we all know. It will truly be amazing for these championships, these two clubs, and most importantly, the game of golf.
In making these announcements today, the USGA's neighbor, Pennsylvania to New Jersey, becomes an even closer ally and friend. They solidify Pennsylvania's legacy as a great sports state, where some of the best fans in America live, and every community here in this great state welcomes you with open arms.
Whether your blood runs black and gold, Steelers and Pirates, or green and red, Eagles and Phillies, everyone's appreciation for hard work and talent or making a play when its on the line is here, and for carrying forth the tradition of the highest level of competitive sport. It has great meaning here in this state, and we're proud to be a part of it.
This made it easy for all of us at the USGA to connect our championship story with your inspiring sports tradition in this great state of Pennsylvania. Thank you.
Simply put, we couldn't have done it without countless people across the state to make this announcement and these championships possible in future. Economic development and driving it, tourism, transportation, safety, and more -- these are only a few of the many departments and aspects that have worked alongside us for the benefit of the citizens, the economic development and tourism, and to continue the tradition of sport across the state, and we're grateful to all of our friends in the State of Pennsylvania.
It's my honor now to introduce representatives from the commonwealth of the State of Pennsylvania who have helped us through this journey the last several months to get to this moment, and I'd like to begin with the Honorable Senator Jake Corman from Pennsylvania.
JAKE CORMAN: Thank you. Good morning. We start out by saying it's cruel and unusual punishment to invite me to come to Oakmont and not bring my golf clubs. As an avid golfer, this is a pretty special venue, but hopefully there will be other days.
You know, there's certain things in life that I think just sort of are symmetry and just work. It's a short trip down the road to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the home of Arnold Palmer, and Arnold Palmer obviously had such a tremendous relationship with Oakmont and history here as well.
I don't know of anyone who's more responsible, one individual, of bringing golf to the masses than Arnold Palmer was, and to have his home commonwealth develop a relationship with an organization whose definition is to bring golf to the masses, I only wish he would have lived to see this day.
I think he would have thought this is a very, very special day.
So we're very excited with this relationship. We're very excited about the USGA's commitment to Pennsylvania. I'm from the State College area, Penn State University, home of the best turf grass school in the nation, which doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about here, but I thought I'd throw a shameless plug in. (Laughter).
Even though none of these venues are near me, it's good for Pennsylvania. The USGA will be in Bethlehem next year at the Senior's. I was fortunate enough to attend the Women's Open there and the Senior Open last time it was in Bethlehem.
Lancaster Country Club are on the schedule to be a Women's Open again, which was one of their more successful Women's Opens.
So this is a commonwealth event, not just Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. But I do want to congratulate the two venues for having such tremendous facilities, tremendous venues. USGA wouldn't be here at all if it wasn't for those great venues. Again, the commitment to the entire commonwealth is an exciting thing.
I'll just close that it probably couldn't have come at a better time as we are emerging, all of us, away from one of the more difficult years of our lifetime with the health crisis we had with the virus, and an industry that took probably the biggest setbacks was the tourism and hospitality industry.
And to think that we're now putting together events after events after events in this area that, as I'm speaking, buses of people are coming into this area, that's very exciting for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
So thank you to the USGA. Thank you to what you do for the people of this country and introducing such a great game to those individuals, and thank you for your commitment to Pennsylvania.
As usual, I need a lot of handling. I messed up. When we first started talking about this, this was an easy sell. In politics, you have the occasion to battle, but this was an easy sell.
This was something whether you're Republican, Democrat, house, senate, we all jumped in because we thought it was so exciting for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And actually, someone whose district we are in, my good friend and colleague, Senator Jay Costa, who will be our next speaker.
JAY COSTA: Thank you very much, Senator Corman, and thank you for the opportunity to be here just to say a few words. As Senator Corman indicated, I've had the pleasure and honor to represent this community for a number of years, and I can't begin to tell you what an event like today, this weekend, and this week, means to this community, not just the Oakmont community, but surrounding communities as well.
Certainly, my colleague, Representative Lewis DelRosso, will talk about what it means to the community economically. I think that's something we certainly know about, and the money that is generated through that programming and along those lines.
But I'm going to say thank you because, as my colleague Senator Corman mentioned, this is a relationship that will grow. As we indicated, we heard about at least ten more sites, maybe a few more at Merion, maybe a few more here over the years remains to be seen.
But I think acknowledging what these events mean to our community is important, not just the economic side. When you think about community pride and be able to talk to people in the schools, the programming the USGA does, and we can't lose sight of that. The programming, as Senator Corman mentioned, about communicating to the masses the ability to participate in a sport as golf, trying to get younger folks to get engaged.
We don't know who the 2049 champion is going to be at this point in time, but we know it could be somebody from Oakmont; it could be somebody from one of the programs that you all support. That's what's fascinating about this, and as the sport grows, it's going to allow all of us the opportunity to understand and recognize how important this is.
So I'm really pleased to be here today. I want to say thank you. I'm really looking forward to these future events, but certainly this weekend is going to be a wonderful opportunity to showcase to the world through the U.S. Amateurs here that are taking place what it means and how important they are to our community.
So thank you, USGA. Thank you for the opportunity to build the relationship, and your team that you've put together here in the commonwealth have been outstanding. As Senator Corman indicated, they articulated how important this story was to the country, and that's why it was easy for many of us to be able to join hands and say, this is something we want to support. So thank you very, very much.
It is my honor to introduce my friend from Oakmont who has lived here and resided here, has been the beneficiary of many activities here as well, Carrie Lewis DelRosso. Thank you, Carrie.
CARRIE LEWIS DELROSSO: It's fun when the Italians screw up their own. It just adds to the background. I'm representative Lewis DelRosso. I live about four blocks away from the course. I've lived here for about 20 years. I'm so proud to be here on this beautiful day to represent the 33rd district, which is the Allegheny Valley, with the 121st U.S. Amateur.
This actually is a very, very big deal for the area, just like both senators had said. Thank you very much for acknowledging it, and thank you to the USGA for being here, more than anything, because this supports our local economy.
I sat on local government here, so I've been here long enough to understand that when you show up with your trailers, it means a boost to the hotels and the restaurants, and it's nice to go out locally and see all the golfers here and support all our local businesses post-pandemic especially.
I just also want to hit on a personal note. I have three family members, all are golfers. The Thompson family from Florida. I've been here for the 2003 U.S. Amateur. My cousin, Lexi Thompson, turned pro here in 2010 when she was 15, and now she's an Olympic golfer.
She's one of the best in the world. So when you all have them here, my family, I get to see them here locally. So thank you again for being here.
Again, I'm so proud to represent this district and support the local businesses as well. So thank you so much.
JOHN BODENHAMER: Thank you, Senators Corman and Costa and Representative Lewis DelRosso. I really do thank you for those remarks.
Senator Corman, your remarks about Mr. Palmer really go to the heart. He's incredibly special to the USGA as you know, and I know Mr. Whan would like to soon have a conversation about Penn State's turf program and our green section. So we can talk. We do know.
I have to share that Senator Costa, we were talking before the conference, shared with me that I think it was 1978 or '79, one of the years, we either had an Amateur or Open, I'd have to go back and look, but he was waiting tables.
He understands that economic benefit that not only came with customers, but tips, right, Senator? It was a great story.
Thank you all for being here and thank you for those remarks. We're grateful for the friendship and the partnership.
So to all our distinguished guests, friends, and members of the media, we appreciate your presence this morning as we truly make history today and your support of the USGA and U.S. Amateur.
In closing, I would like to leave you all with just a few parting thoughts. The first is the ghosts of the past do matter. It's important where players win their U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, both men and women. Bringing these USGA championships to these two storied clubs on a frequent basis will create the familiarity that we strive for, for the players so they're comfortable here, for viewers on television so they get to know these great holes by heart and anticipate USGA championships at these great places, for fan experience and what we do at the USGA, because our championships are so important, all that we do for the game.
It will provide great benefits as we drive investments at these places along with the club to really supercharge the championship experience. We couldn't be more excited.
Finally, with this announcement, the USGA is proud to showcase the finest men's and women's championships, as are Oakmont and Merion. That's an important message from us. From our very founding in 1895, the very beginning of our championship tradition that year, it was about the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur, and we've been about everything good for the game of golf for everybody since that time, men and women.
We're very proud to continue that important tradition as we go forward with these championships. So we leave you all with a reminder of the excitement for all of us that the USGA shares with what lies ahead in Pennsylvania. We can only hope Arnold Palmer and the greats that came before and after here to the Keystone State would all be proud on this incredible day.
I think they're all looking down, and they're all proud and excited with what's to come. With that, I thank you. We have another really cool clip that our content team put together. We'd like to show it to you now. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports