I've heard the story my Dad tells a dozen times. He was at the U.S. open way back in the day, getting a drink out of the water fountain, when Chi-Chi Rodriguez asks him in broken English if he minded if a pro jumped in front of him. It's a pretty fun story, mostly because Chi-Chi was the man. Well the U.S. Open is making its way back towards my hood.
What has led to Merion getting the Open began in the mid-90s with the club merely hoping to get another U.S. Amateur. At the time, Merion, which has hosted more USGA national championships (17) than any other club in the country, was at arm's lengthen with the game's governing body.
The club wanted to fix that and went about a year-long restoration of the East Course, trimming or cutting hundreds of trees, widening fairways, expanding greens, rebuilding the bunkers and lengthening the par 70 yards to just under 7,000.
Maybe we will get the 2016 Olympic bid now too.
-Merion will learn soon it's getting the 2013 U.S. Open [Inky]