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Day 2 Of US Open Begins After Blimp Crash, Water Concerns Opening Day

Attendee: Men's Golf Championship Is 'A Good Place To Be'

Two caddies carrying golf bags at the U.S. Open.
Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

The men’s U.S. Open golf championship resumes Friday at Erin Hills, 25 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

The tournament got off to an unusual start Thursday due to a blimp crash and drinking water concerns, but fans attending the opening round of the major tournament seemed mostly happy.

The Washington Ozaukee Health Department reported E. coli bacteria in a water sample taken from a hydration station connected to a well near the 12th hole of the golf course.

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No illnesses have been reported.

Complimentary bottled water will be provided at all hydration stations on the course for the rest of the event, which concludes Sunday, according to the U.S. Golf Association, which runs the Open.

Earlier in the day, an advertising blimp unrelated to the U.S. Open crashed near the course, injuring the pilot.

Fans said they were sad to hear of the crash, but otherwise people leaving the course in the late afternoon appeared pleased with the day.

Tom Uehling, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, said his only disappointment was having to park his car in a free lot about 20 miles from the course and take a shuttle the rest of the way.

“Takes about 35 minutes to and from, so it ‘s long, ” Uehling said. “The longest I’ve ever gone in a major from one place to park. But that’s the only downfall. Otherwise, it’s pretty good.”

Some private landowners much closer to the golf course were also offering free shuttle rides, but there was a catch — you had to pay $40 to park your vehicle there.

Gary Sczepanski, of Racine, focused on the terrain of the golf course.

“It’s tough to get around though for old people, my hips are killing me,” he said, laughing. “It’s hard, lot of up and down. But when you find a good place to sit, it’s a good place to be. I recommend, where were we, the 18th?” he asked his spouse.

Sczepanski and his wife also took the free shuttle from a tournament lot near Oconomowoc. He said it was a longer trip than expected, but said the system worked pretty well.

The U.S. Open continues through Sunday.

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