The U.S. Open will be played in 2021 at Torrey Pines Golf Course, where Tiger Woods won his last major golf title six years ago.
Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open at the San Diego course in a 19-hole playoff over Rocco Mediate. Hobbled by a left knee injury during the tournament, Woods underwent surgery after claiming his 14th major title. He hasn’t won another since.
The 2008 tournament drew 7.8 million viewers in the U.S., making it the third-most watched U.S. Open in history.
“When we look back on 2008, one of the things we all talked about was ‘how can we possibly top that?’” Mike Davis, executive director of the U.S. Golf Association, said on a media conference call. “That was one of the greatest U.S. Opens ever. Looking at the drama that was created back then and how the course tested all parts of the game, that is absolutely things we look at.”
The tournament also produced about $15 million in corporate hospitality profit for the USGA, the second-highest total in the tournament’s history behind the 2002 event at New York’s Bethpage State Park. Woods won his second of three U.S. Open titles that year.
The return to Torrey Pines also continues the USGA’s trend of bringing its marquee event to public golf courses. Four of the next five U.S. Opens will be played at course’s open to the general public, excluding the 2016 tournament at Oakmont Country Club, a private club outside of Pittsburgh.
This year’s U.S. Open will be played at Pinehurst Resort’s No. 2 course in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Chambers Bay, a municipal course in Tacoma, Washington, will host the 2015 Open. The 2017 and 2018 tournaments are also set to be played at public courses, with Wisconsin’s Erin Hills hosting in 2017 and California’s Pebble Beach in 2018.
Woods, 38, would be 45 when the tournament returns to Torrey Pines and San Diego native Phil Mickelson will be 51.
Davis declined to say if Woods would get a special invite to play if he doesn’t qualify on his own.
“Thankfully, that’s up to the championship committee,” Davis said, laughing. “I don’t have to make a vote on that one. We’ll see.”
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