2013 U.S. Open: 10 things you might not have known

You don't have to be an expert on golf to appreciate the U.S. Open at Merion. (Morry Gash/AP)

Here are 10 things you might not know about the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club:

1. Merion is home to the second longest par 3 in U.S. Open history (3rd hole, 256 yards), and the third longest par 4 (18th hole, 521 yards).

2. Upon winning the U.S. Open, you are:

  • Exempt on U.S. Open for the next 10 years
  • Invited to the next five Masters Tournaments
  • Invited to the next five British Open Championships
  • Invited to the next five PGA Championships
  • Invited to the next five Players Championships
  • Exempt on the PGA Tour for five years
  • Last year, you were $1,440,000 richer of the $8 million in prize money.

3. There are 156 golfers teeing off this year, with 10 former Open champions among them:

  • Angel Cabrera (2007)
  • Michael Campbell (2005)
  • Ernie Els (1994, '97)
  • Jim Furyk (2003)
  • Lucas Glover (2009)
  • Graeme McDowell (2010)
  • Rory McIlroy (2011)
  • Geoff Ogilvy (2006)
  • Webb Simpson (2012)
  • Tiger Woods (2000, '02, '08)

4. Max Homa of the University of California-Berkeley, the 2013 NCAA Division I individual champion, qualified for the U.S. Open despite digging a hole for himself in the qualifying round and being accosted by a family of ducks, which had to be fended off by his caddie with the pin.

5. The 2013 Open’s oldest participant is Jay Don Blake (54). When Blake was named NCAA Player of the Year in 1981, this year’s youngest participant, 18-year-old Gavin Hall, was still 14 years away from being born.

6. Five thousand volunteers from 48 states and 10 different countries are aiding in the production of the U.S. Open. Seventy percent are Pennsylvania natives, and about half of Merion Golf Club’s members have involved themselves in some capacity.

7. With a daily crowd of 25,500 people, this will be the Open’s 27th consecutive sellout. Bleachers and grand stands are offering 15,500 seats throughout the course – 4,200 on the 17th hole alone.

8. Jesse Smith, a 33-year-old Open participant, is the son of former Hartford Whalers star Guy Smith of the WHA, before it assimilated with the NHL. Here's a picture of him celebrating after scoring a goal in the 1973 finals against the Winnipeg Jets.  

[The Courant]

9. There are 350 portable toilets here. Portable toilets: a reliable business model.

10. There is 36,000 feet of space dedicated to merchandise tents. That's the equivalent of an entire Whole Foods.