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Vandals damage site of 2001 U.S. Open

Vandals sprayed poison on greens at Southern Hills Country Club, site of the 2001 U.S. Open, carving obscenities into the grass and forcing the championship course to close until spring for repairs.

Eight greens at the championship course and four on a separate nine-hole course were damaged June 25 by the chemical, which killed the top layer of grass, general manager Nick Sidorakis said today. No arrests have been made.

The championship course will close Aug. 16 for reseeding. The grass takes about 10 weeks to fully grow.

"It's not going to change the contours of the greens, that's one of the biggest features," Sidorakis said.

The West Nine course will remain open for members.

Sidorakis, who refused to give more details on the damage, does not believe U.S. Open plans will be affected.

Southern Hills has played host to five major championships, including the U.S. Open in 1958 (won by Tommy Bolt) and 1977 (won by Hubert Green) and the PGA Championship in 1970 (won by Dave Stockton), 1982 (won by Raymond Floyd), and 1994 (won by Nick Price).

 

AP