The golf world focuses on Pennsylvania this week at one of the sport’s four major tournaments, the U.S. Open near Philadelphia at Merion Golf Club. For the players, it’s important to have a good start to their round. No one takes an official swing until they hear from a USGA Vice President from Lancaster County, Dan Burton.
“I try to run the first tee very business like, the players are a little nervous,” Burton said. “It’s a very stressful time for them. I don’t try to talk to them a lot, I try to be very on spot and keep everyone and everything in order and nobody talking that shouldn’t be talking.”
This is the fourth year Burton has been on the USGA committee and the third as a starter. He first stepped up to the microphone at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional.
USGA Executive Director Mike Davis is a Chambersburg native. He’s thrilled to have Burton on the committee and manning the post at the first tee. “You want the players to recognize the starter so a few years ago, we put Dan on the first tee at the U.S. Open and he’s done a great job ever since, I think he enjoys it too.”
According to Burton, the spotlight will intensify over the weekend. “Absolutely yes, I remember the first tee at Congressional on Saturday when the leaders came to the first tee. There must have been 100 people in the entourage, President of NBC Sports, President of Golf Channel. It was a sight the first time but now I have the game figured out.”