The first golfers teed off Thursday morning, marking the official start of the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
An amateur from Wellesley, 20-year-old Michael Thorbjornsen, lead the way from the tee box at 6:45 a.m. Last year’s U.S. Open winner, Jon Rahm, was scheduled to start at 7:18 a.m., followed by Worcester native Scott Stallings at 7:29 and 2011 U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy at 7:40 a.m. Vermont’s Keegan Bradley started at 8:02 a.m.
"I’m excited, you know, I love just coming back here. I love going into the local stores and hearing the chatter and the accents and talking about the Celtics," professional golfer Keegan Bradley said. "There’s a sense of calm in being around here."
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Thursday marks the start of the first of four rounds. Thousands of fans have been coming to The Country Club all week as the U.S. Open returns to the historic venue for the first time since 1988. The course has only hosted the championship three other times, but has been the site of several other major golf events.
There's added excitement around the US Open this year, which is back at full capacity or the first time since 2019.
"It’s incredibly exciting. We had no fans in 2020, and then 2021 we had a third capacity at Torey Pines and now we’re here at The Country Club and couldn’t be happier to welcome everybody who is going to come out," said Mary Lopuszynski, the managing director of U.S. Open Merchandising.
Lopuszynski estimates that 11 hats will be sold per minute from the 24,000 square foot merchandise tent. Even with 49 cash registers, organizers may still have to close the doors if it gets too crowded inside.
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Those who want to attend will need to plan ahead as thousands of fans are expected over the next several days. People won’t be able to drive anywhere near the Country Club.
For those who don’t have a parking pass to one of the nearby lots, the T is the best option either through the Orange Line to Forest Hills or the Green Line to Reservoir, Cleveland Circle or Boston College. Shuttles will be available to drop people off near Gate 5.
There are two rideshare drop-offs; one at Larz Anderson Park, which is within walking distance to the U.S. Open, and the other is at the Founders Garage near Trip Advisor in Needham.