Making Of US Open Course: Death, Intrigue Shadow Erin Hills

By EDDIE PELLS,  AP Nationwide Author

The person who first imagined the grassy Wisconsin cattle farm as a possible piece of the U.S. Open’s hallowed historical past will see that imaginative and prescient come to life this week.

Steve Trattner shall be watching on TV from his jail cell, forty miles away from Erin Hills.

Trattner, fifty five, is the onetime software program programmer whose ardour for golf led him to name a Milwaukee-space millionaire businessman, Bob Lang. He persuaded Lang to take a look at the farm on what’s referred to as the Kettle Moraine, a land formation in east-central Wisconsin formed hundreds of years in the past by buried glacial ice.

Lang, who had lengthy dreamed of constructing a golf course, fell in love with the situation and purchased the territory, however would go on to lose hundreds of thousands in creating and ultimately being pressured to promote the eleven-yr-previous format.

Via all that, Lang and Trattner fulfilled their mission of constructing a course to host a U.S. Open. And the existence of Erin Hills places to relaxation the notion that a main championship course wants many years’ value of golf tales to take pleasure in a wealthy historical past.

“It was as near an obsession as there may be for him,” Trattner’s lawyer, Lew Wasserman, stated of his shopper’s devotion to the golf course. “It was his life.”

However solely seven months earlier than Lang — money strapped and in want of income — rushed the course to open to the general public in 2006, Trattner pleaded no contest to first-diploma reckless murder for killing his spouse, Sin Lam. He’s serving a 35-yr jail sentence.

Trattner is presently interesting his plea , arguing he was not correctly represented in his earlier hearings. Wasserman argues a lot of the proof was mishandled or omitted.

The lawyer says he finds it “sadly ironic” that on the time of his sentencing, Trattner, who labored half-time as Erin Hills challenge supervisor with a wage of $2,000 a month, was “portrayed as being this type of bum who was puttering round with this land close to Holy Hill.”

“In case you’re a decide, sitting up there with this man sitting in entrance of you, and also you see his spouse who was supposedly strangled to dying for no purpose, you’re not going to care about some golf course that no one is aware of about,” Wasserman stated.

In accordance with the legal grievance and different courtroom paperwork together with testimony from authorities:

—Trattner advised police he was within the couple’s kitchen on the night time of Jan. three, 2006, when Lam advised him she needed a divorce.

—Trattner grabbed his spouse by the…

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