Players set for 'comprehensive' Open test, says USGA chief

Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:47pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - Whether the players love or hate Chambers Bay, they will face a "comprehensive test" in firm and fast conditions at this week's U.S. Open, says United States Golf Association chief Mike Davis.

The links-style layout, constructed on a site along Puget Sound on land formerly used as a rock quarry and also as a sand and gravel mine, was baked hard during an unusually dry and warm May, and sunny weather has been forecast for the next four days.

While the par-70 course has not met with universal approval, with the first and 18th holes set to switch between par-fours and par-fives depending on wind conditions, USGA executive director Davis said he was pleased with the set-up.

"We've got a nice firm and fast golf course," Davis said on Wednesday, on the eve of the year's second major championship.

"We didn't know what to expect this year coming in, whether it was going to be really a green view or now it's become more of a tan with some greens in there.

"But it's been great. From a set-up standpoint and really presenting the golf course for a championship test, we couldn't be happier."

With elongated tee areas occasionally set on a slight slope, semi-blind shots from the fairway, fescue grass throughout and pronounced elevation changes -- there is much to test the composure of players.

Banked hills and undulations in the fairways and around the greens allow for multiple ways of playing shots, and tee boxes can be set to change the look and strategy of holes from round to round.   Continued...

Jun 17, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; USGA flags on top of the first hole grandstand during practice rounds on Wednesday at Chambers Bay. Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports