Open Season on Open Stuff
By the time players reach the homestretch of the U.S. Open on June 21, the most popular souvenirs will be long gone. In recent years caps festooned with the Stars and Stripes, retail price $25, quickly sold out and fetched up to $100 for scalpers on and off the grounds. This year, in an effort to be fair to everyone, the USGA will open Open souvenir stands to all comers the week before the tournament. "In 1987 the U.S. Open merchandising operation was nothing but a couple of tables under a tent," says championship coordinator Jon Barker. "Now it's more like a Nordstrom department store." With 43 cash registers poised to rake in more than $1 million, Barker anticipates selling 308,861 Open-logoed items, including a $29 tie-dyed T-shirt custom-made for the San Francisco Open. Says Barker, "That one is our Jerry Garcia connection."