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U.S. Open tickets draw high asking price on secondary market

The basket of golf balls on the putting

The basket of golf balls on the putting green at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton on June 11, 2018. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Getting to Eastern Long Island can be a hassle, given the crowds and traffic on a narrow piece of land far from the area’s population center. But that has not kept golf fans from making the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills a tough ticket.

Packages for the four-day competition portion of the week, Thursday through Sunday, are sold out, but they can be had on the secondary market — for a steep price — either on a daily basis or for all four days.

According to TicketIQ, which monitors resale market sites, as of Monday the average asking price for each of the four days was $265, which is 60 percent more than last year at Erin Hills in Wisconsin and 34 percent more than 2016 at Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

The only more expensive Open asking prices this decade were at Merion in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, which averaged $280 in 2013.

TicketIQ’s average asking price for Thursday’s first round was $175 (with a low of $71) and rose from there to $246 (with a low of $115) on Friday and $339 (with a low of $175) on Saturday. The asking price for Sunday’s final round averaged $302, with a low of $93.

This is the first Open held on Long Island since 2009 and the first at Shinnecock since 2004. It also is the first time that Tiger Woods will compete since he missed the cut at the 2015 Open.

Vivid Seats, another secondary ticket marketplace, said its data indicates the 2018 Open is the costliest since 2015.

Based on tickets actually sold, not asking prices, as of Monday the average was $111, compared to $97 in 2017 and $101 in 2016, as of this time in Open week. The 2015 Open at Chambers Bay averaged $196.

Average sale prices for practice rounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were $30 or less. The most expensive day to attend is Saturday, with an average sale price of $156 as of Monday.

“While having Tiger Woods in the field never hurts, we’re seeing location play a role as well, with the event being held in New York at one of the oldest golf clubs in the country,” said Stephen Spiewak, Vivid Seats’ manager for digital content marketing.

On StubHub as of Monday night, asking prices, which constantly fluctuated, started at $525 for a pass for the four days of competition, with prices starting at $140 for Thursday only, $167 for Friday, $165 for Saturday and $104 for Sunday.

The USGA set a limit of 35,000 tickets per day, a number that varies year to year based on the facilities and logistics at various Open courses.

Packages for the four competition days bought directly from the USGA are sold out, but the USGA website said as of late Monday afternoon that limited walk-up sales might be available for purchase on-site, starting at $60 for gallery tickets that allow general access to the grounds.

The U.S. Open is a relatively affordable option compared to the most in-demand golf tournament in the country — The Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Vivid Seats said 2018 resale prices for that tournament averaged $1,166.

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