Farmers Insurance Open may derail major hopes: USGA says Torrey Pines won't get U.S. Open

SAN DIEGO -  

Festivities at this year's Farmers Insurance Open began Monday at Torrey Pines. 

"Such a beautiful day as there's no prettier place on the planet than Torrey Pines," said Arizona resident Larry Laux.

Laux and his wife Lisa were walking the course Monday. They will contribute some of the $30 million expected to be generated by the tournament. 

That's not to mention the television exposure this tournament will give San Diego. More than 17 hours of live television coverage will come from the Farmers Insurance Open.

"There will be 230 countries tuning in with over 100 million households," said tournament Executive Director Peter Ripa.

That is free advertising for every business in San Diego.

However, while the Farmer's Insurance Open brings Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods to Torrey Pines, it may be the reason why the U.S. Open does not return. Mike Davis, the executive director of the United States Golf Association said recently that the major may not come back because Torrey Pines is used annually by the Farmers Insurance Open.

"When you're exposing it every single year, I think that takes away from the U.S. Open," said Davis.

According to a study by San Diego State University, the U.S. Open generated $70 million for San Diego when it was here in 2008.

Ripa said golf fans should not panic.

"I'm going to tell you that there's interest from the PG of America in the way of a PGA Championship or a Ryder Cup down the road," he said.

Both are world-class events that would also generate millions for San Diego.

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