ARDMORE, Pa. — Richard Simons grew up around the Merion golf course, knows its quirks, its denizens and its tourist crowds. He’s fished for minnows in the water hazards, sledded in winter down the slopes of the 9th and 10th holes that’ll lead you right into a creek if you’re not careful. Simons says there is one thing he is certain about, when it comes to the 27,000-plus spectators who will inhabit his stomping grounds daily as the U.S. Open begins on Thursday: They will be well-behaved. They will not wreck his quaint, 110-acre playground and they will not jeer Sergio Garcia or anyone else. It turns out even Philly-area fans don’t boo golfers, who are afforded courtesies rarely extended to other athletes, or Santa Clauses, in these parts. “You’ve got some really classy people here,” said Simons, watching a practice round. “You might hear a smattering. But if somebody starts something, the person next to him will tell him to stop right away.” From the first tee shot to the final putt, you can expect spectators to offer their wholehearted support and the sort of empathy that traditionally follows golfers wherever they go — including the grumpy Northeast corridor,… Read full this story
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