Penn State Berks Professor Lends Agronomic Expertise to U.S. Open

Dr. Mike Fidanza, Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at Penn State Berks, is lending his agronomic expertise this week at the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA from June 13-16, 2013, along with two other Penn State faculty members from University Park campus (Dr. John Kaminski, Associate Professor of Turfgrass Science, and Dr. Andy McNitt, Professor of Soil Science).

There are over 150 volunteers on the grounds crew, and many are Penn State alumni from both the Berks and University Park campuses, including Matt Shaffer, Director of Grounds at Merion Golf Club, and Darin Bevard, the USGA (United States Golf Association) agronomist on hand for this tournament. 

For the grounds crew, work began on Monday, June 10, with each day starting promptly at 3 a.m., and concluding around 9 or 10 p.m. According to Fidanza, despite the rain and wet conditions, the golf course should provide a formidable challenge to the world's top golfers.