Penn State Berks professor lends agronomic expertise to U.S. Open

June 13, 2013

Mike Fidanza, professor of plant and soil sciences at Penn State Berks, lent his agronomic expertise this past week at the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., from June 13 to 16, along with two other Penn State faculty members from Penn State's University Park campus -- John Kaminski, associate professor of turfgrass Science, and Andy McNitt, professor of soil science. 

There were more than 150 volunteers on the grounds crew, and many are Penn State alumni from both campuses, including Matt Shaffer, director of grounds at Merion Golf Club, and Darin Bevard, the 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. 

  • Kaminski, McNitt and Fidanza on US Open's 2013 golf course at the Merion Golf Club in Armore, PA

    From left, Penn State faculty members John Kaminski, Andy McNitt and Mike Fidanza are among a number of Penn Staters lending their expertise to this year's U.S. Open.

    IMAGE: Jerred Golden
Last Updated June 20, 2013