The United States Golf Association announced that it is going to make more U.S. Open tickets available to the general public for this year’s event. The sport’s second Major Tournament, the June 15 – 21 event will be held at Long Island, NY’s famed Bethpage Black course. Tickets to the Open are generally considered to be among hardest in sports to acquire.

The reason for the release of the additional tickets is reportedly a downturn in corporate hospitality sales.

The U.S.G.A. Web site recently posted that “a limited number of additional Grounds tickets will be sold on a pre-championship, walk-up basis. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities remain. Tickets will be on sale Thursday, June 11, through Sunday, June 14, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the U.S. Open ‘Will Call’ facility at Bethpage State Park.”

The Web site lists daily competition-round tickets at $100, while the weekly tickets cost $400. Daily tickets for practice rounds are $40. How many more tickets the U.S.G.A. plans to release was not disclosed.

The New York Times reported that the U.S.G.A. recently made 1,000 tickets available through local golf associations. The initial allotment of public tickets sold out in August 2008 during a random drawing.

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The 2009 U.S. Open will be held at that the same municipal course in Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y. that in 2002 became the first publicly owned and operated course to stage a U.S. Open. That year’s tournament was considered tremendously exciting – Tiger Woods won – and it set attendance records. It wasn’t long afterward that the U.S.G.A. named Bethpage Black to host the 2009 tournament.

According to a brand-new book, “The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live: An Insider’s Guide to Creating the Sports Experience of a Lifetime,” author Robert Tuchman ranks the U.S. Open number 64. That puts it behind, for instance, the French Open tennis tournament (#54) and a Notre Dame football game (#39), but ahead of golfing’s President’s Cup and tennis’s Australian Open.

Tuchman told TicketNews, “I think it’s great that more sports fans have a chance to get to the Open this year. Listen, the U.S. Open really is a terrific experience.”

The sporting event Tuchman ranks as number one on his list is The Masters at Augusta National in Georgia.