WORCESTER, Mass – The Country Club in Brookline has planned for seven years to host the U.S. Open next week, but the toughest test in golf could be upstaged in Massachusetts by the Boston Celtics.
The U.S. Open is sold out June 16-19, but the Celtics could be celebrating their record 18th NBA championship with a ‘Duck Boat’ rolling rally in downtown Boston that week.
Hundreds of thousands of fans attended the last Celtics rolling rally in June of 2008 after the Celtics defeated the Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals for their first NBA championship in 22 years.
The Celtics split the first two games of the NBA Finals at Golden State and the next two games are scheduled to be played at TD Garden in Boston, at 9 p.m. Wednesday and at 9 p.m. Friday. The NBA Finals are assured of lasting at least five games and Game 5 is scheduled to be played in San Francisco at 9 p.m. Monday, June 13, the day of the first practice round at TCC.
If the Celtics win the next three games and claim the championship, they would travel back to Boston and the ‘Duck Boat‘ parade would be held sometime during the next few days. It could even take place on the following Thursday, the day of the opening round of the U.S. Open.
If necessary, Game 6 would be played that Thursday in Boston at 9 p.m. If the Celtics win the championship in six games, the ‘Duck Boat’ parade could take place the following weekend during one of the final two rounds of the U.S. Open.
If a Game 7 is needed, it would tip off on Father’s Day at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 19, in San Francisco. That would be two hours after the U.S. Open is scheduled to end, but a playoff could extend golf at TCC until much longer. Each of the previous three U.S. Open championships held at TCC required playoffs.
Nevertheless, if the Celtics win the title in seven games, the ‘Duck Boat‘ parade wouldn’t conflict with the U.S. Open.
Of course, the Warriors eliminate any possibility of the Celtics upstaging the U.S. Open by winning the NBA championship themselves. If the USGA rooted for Golden State, it would be understandable.
The U.S. Open draws fans from all over the world, but Bostonians love their professional teams. A ‘Duck Boat’ parade wouldn’t interfere with golf at TCC, but it could take the focus off the U.S. Open.
TCC didn’t have to worry about the Celtics stealing the spotlight from the previous U.S. Open championships it hosted.
There weren’t any Celtics or NBA in 1913 when amateur Francis Ouimet of Brookline defeated Britons Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in n 18-hole playoff at TCC.
In 1963, Julius Boros defeated Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer on June 23 in an 18-hole playoff in the U.S. Open at TCC. The Celtics defeated the Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals that season in Bob Cousy’s final year with the team, but Game 6 was held on April 24 so there was no conflict. They didn’t have ‘Duck Boat’ parade celebrations back then either.
In 1988, Curtis Strange defeated Nick Faldo in an 18-hole playoff on June 20 to win the U.S. Open at TCC. The Celtics lost the Eastern Conference Finals that year in six games to Detroit and their season ended on June 3.
If a playoff is needed at the U.S. Open this year, it would be a two-hole aggregate contest after the final round is completed. If the players were still tied, extra sudden-death holes would be played.
The Red Sox are scheduled to be home during the week of the U.S. Open. Oakland will visit for games at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 7:10 p.m. Friday, 7:15 p.m. Saturday and 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Any ‘Duck Boat’ parade for the Red Sox, unlikely as it now may seem, would have to wait until the fall.