Security reviewed for U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club

    The Boston Marathon bombings have prompted organizers of the U.S. Open golf championship to take a deeper look at security measures in place for the June event set for Delaware County.

     Joe Goode, spokesman for the U.S. Golf Association, said his organization is combing through its security plan for Merion Golf Club as part of an ongoing review.

    In the aftermath of the deadly blasts, Goode, a Boston native, said the USGA is confident about the safety precautions arranged for the week of June 10.

    “We have magnetometers at our screening points prior to entry into the championship. In a few places around the East Course at Merion, where the championship is taking place this year, we employ hand wands to screen limited entry gates,” said Goode.

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    He noted that current plans also include contingencies for potential acts of terrorism, including the type of incident that occurred in Boston.

    In addition, officers with the Haverford Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police will join Homeland Security personnel onsite for the prestigious sports event.

    The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also will have representatives at the course.

    “We look at [the plan] every day. Changes are made in it on a daily basis, probably up until the day before,” said John Viola, Haverford’s deputy chief of police. “We’re confident that the plans we have and the manpower we have are more than sufficient to cover the crowds and any issues that could arise up there.”

    That said, Viola acknowledged that adding more manpower is a possibility.

    The tournament, one of golf’s four major championships, is expected to draw 200,000 spectators throughout the week.

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