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City, county officials set to make plea for another U.S. Open

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Local and county officials are preparing a joint resolution pledging their support to efforts to bring a future U.S. Open golf tournament to Chamber Bay.
The resolution, which is under consideration by the Pierce County Council and the City Councils of Lakewood, University Place and Steilacoom, formally states appreciation the respective cities have for the United States Golf Association for the 2015 event as well as their joint intent to work together to court another U.S. Open or other USGA championship event.
The resolution comes at a time when USGA announced that the county-owned golf course was selected as a location for the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. That team golf tournament is being sponsored by DuPont’s Home Course, a course that is cooperatively owned and operated by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and the Washington State Golf Association. The event will be the third USGA event at Chamber Bay, following the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Open. The Home Course, which opened in 2007, hosted the 2010 Amateur as well as the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.
While the tournaments generate media coverage of the area and the course specifically, they also generate millions in tourism dollars years after they are held.

The 2015 U.S. Open, for example, generated some $150 million in local spending last year, according to an impact report by Pacific Lutheran University economics professors for the USGA. Hotels as far away as Lewis County experienced a bump in hotel traffic with most hotels in Pierce and King County operating at or near capacity during the tournament. The marquee event boosted tourism spending in Pierce County over the $1 billion mark for the first time, according to Travel Tacoma + Pierce County reports compiled by Dean Runyan Associates, which notes that some 5.9 million tourists came to the area last year. Landing another U.S. Open for Chambers Bay would likely match or exceed 2015 spending and fuel the efforts to keep the course among the upper rungs of courses around the nation. The USGA’s selection of Chambers for its Four-Ball tournament suggests it remains on the national radar for future events.
“We are thrilled to welcome the USGA back to Chambers Bay and the Pacific Northwest for the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy in a release. “Our community wrapped its collective arms around the record-setting 2015 U.S. Open, and I’m confident we will host another successful championship in 2019.”

The Four-Ball Championship is strictly for amateurs with teams being allowed to form from members spanning different clubs, states or even countries rather than being required to hail from the same home course as is common in other tournaments. The bracket tournament will pit 128 teams of two golfers from around the country playing their own balls throughout the 18-hole round with the team score determined by using the lower hole-by-hole score of the partners.
This year’s tournament was played at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York with the 2017 championship slated for Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina and then in Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Fla. in 2018. The 2020 Four-Ball championship will be held in Philadelphia Cricket Club in Pennsylvania after the event at Chamber Bay.

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