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Golf fans walk along the 16th fairway as rain falls earlier this week at Merion Country Club in Ardmore, Pa. It could be a wet start to the tournament.

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The affection was genuine. Even better was beating Jack Nicklaus in a playoff. So when Lee Trevino got his hands on that U.S. Open trophy in 1971, the guy who never lacked for one-liners gushed, “I love Merion, and I don’t even know her last name.” For this generation of stars, Merion is more like a blind date.


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