By Mike DeNardo
ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) – In June, the storied course at Merion became the center of the golf world with the arrival of the U.S. Open.
It was the fifth time the Merion Golf Club hosted a U.S. Open, and the first time since 1981.
Nestled in a residential area, most of the thousands of fans had to take public transportation or ride remote shuttles. Enterprising residents living near Merion, though, rented out their front lawns as parking lots:
“I seen all the neighbors are just making money hand over fist, and I couldn’t pass up the buck,” this resident said.
On the course, play was often interrupted by rain:
“It’s interesting to see the guys struggle with the weather. The greens are wet. You’re wondering if they’re going to keep playing.”
But fans like Sean Mannion of Devon kept coming:
“It’s amazing. I used to caddy here as a kid. So to see the best in the world play on this course is amazing. It’s even more amazing to see that they’re not tearing it up the way you’d think they might.”
Indeed, after the rain-delayed first round finished on Friday, only five players were under par. Fan favorite Phil Mickelson led after each of the first three rounds, but Brit Justin Rose finished the Open one over to win his first major.
Haverford considered the Open a win as well. Deputy police chief John Viola says the months of logistical planning paid off:
“The main thing was the traffic so the residents could lead a normal life with 35,000 people descending upon the neighborhood every day. And we made it work.”