Tiger's Masters win generates new interest in U.S. Open, but tickets all gone

Thursday, April 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Tiger will be there, tickets won't.

Tiger Woods' win at the Masters over the weekend _ his record-breaking fourth straight major championship _ sparked new interest in tickets for the next major pro golf event, the U.S. Open scheduled at Tulsa's Southern Hills Golf & Country Club June 14-17.

But all of the 122,100 tickets to the event were gobbled up during a six-week application period last summer _ the 15th straight year the U.S. Open has been a sellout.

That hasn't stopped calls from hopeful _ but out-of-luck _ attendees.

``You could not believe the number of calls we've had from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and surrounding areas,'' said Ann McNamara, the United States Golf Association's coordinator of the U.S. Open.

Weeklong general admission tickets sold for $275 each. Daily tickets were $35 for practice rounds leading up to the tournament and $65 for championship rounds.

Scalping, while illegal in Tulsa, will no doubt be a booming business throughout the tournament.

``We just hope people will use their tickets and not try to make a profit,'' McNamara said. ``I think it's going to be incredibly exciting. I can't wait to get out there.''

Meanwhile, preparations at the course are taking shape. Tents are going up, as are about 17,000 bleacher seats for spectators. One of the busiest tents stands to be the media tent: USGA officials expect to issue about 1,100 credentials.

``Construction-wise, it's getting very busy,'' head pro Dave Bryan said. ``We're going to have a city in here and they have to get started early. The game is on.''

He said the course is also greening up, just as it should, and that it should look great on the telecast of the tournament by ESPN and NBC.

NBC vice president of communications Kevin Sullivan said last year's Open television coverage drew a record 53 million viewers.