Farmers Insurance Golf Open kicks off this week

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Local Teen Golfer To Compete In Augusta

A 15-year-old golfer from San Diego earned an invitation to compete during the 2014 Masters Week in Augusta.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Farmer’s Insurance Golf Open kicks off Monday morning with practice rounds starting at 9:30 am at the Torrey Pines Golf course.

The tournament is considered one of San Diego’s largest sporting events of the year with more than 100,000 visitors.

“Today is the last day of preparations before the party begins,” said CEO Peter Ripa.

Organizers expect 157 players from 17 countries, including famed golfers Tiger Wood and Phil Mickelson. Crews have been preparing the course for the pros since late November, building the set from scratch, Ripa said.

“Some of the open air things you would enjoy in Del Mar we try to recreate that in a temporary structure on course,” said Ripa.

To handle the large crowds, the entrance has been moved toward the back side near the Torrey Pines Glider port this year. Public parking for the event will mostly be at the Del Mar racetrack and Sea World. Shuttles will run throughout the day to bring visitors to the golf course.

Also new this year are viewing lounges, complete with drinks and TV screens,  to promote socializing and spending.

“Previously in 2013. we generated $25 million for San Diego,” Ripa said.

Nearby hotels, including the Torrey Pines Lodge and the Hilton Hotel, are nearly sold out. The crowds are also great news for local restaurants like the Red Traction. Owner Tracy Tracton has been busy taking reservation for groups of 14 and 20 all day.

“We get the players -- Tiger Woods has been here a few times -- and also a lot of business owners...  It's very good for business all over the community," said Tracton.

Official tournament play is set to begin Thursday, with the Pro Am on Wednesday.

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