Golf fans feel excitement as US Open practice rounds kick off at LA Country Club ahead of tournament

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Golf fans feel excitement as US Open practice rounds kick off at LACC
"This a milestone for L.A.," said a golf fan who attended Monday's practices. "I've never seen a national tournament here."

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The 123rd U.S. Open is set to begin Thursday at Los Angeles Country Club's North Course, but practice rounds began Monday where fans got to get close to some of their favorite players.

"This a milestone for L.A.," said Bob Simon, who attended Monday's practices. "I've never seen a national tournament here. Nice to come out and walk the course, commune with other golfers, see all kinds of people."

Los Angeles Country Club is the third course in the last nine years to host a U.S. Open for the first time.

Tiger Woods has missed the last three U.S. Open. He is unlikely to play the rest of the season while recovering from ankle surgery.

"I kept saying that today, the only thing that would make this thing better is if Tiger was playing. Other than that, we're good," said Bobby Young, another attendee at Monday's practices.

Many of the best players in the world are participating and some are from Southern California. A total of 156 golfers will compete and thousands of spectators will have access to the exclusive LACC.

"We are incredibly proud of our club and this golf course. It's got tremendous heritage for Southern California and for Los Angeles, and we're so pleased to be able do this and have the community come to Los Angeles and see this event," said LACC President Gene Sykes.

Another big change for this U.S. Open is the topic of conversation. The U.S. Open comes one week after the PGA Tour announced the Saudi Arabian wealth fund it had been battling in court over LIV Golf is now its partner in a new for-profit commercial company.

"I think it's interesting to see how it plays out," said attendee Chris Aguilar. "There's still a lot of unknowns to see how the leagues will come together. It's definitely exciting to see how it impacts the sport."

Last year, Matt Fitzpatrick of England hit 9-iron from a bunker in the 18th fairway that set up a par and a closing 2-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris at The Country Club. Fitzpatrick joined Jack Nicklaus (Pebble Beach) as the only players to win a U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open on the same course.

Tickets are still available for practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.