U.S. Open gets underway at Chambers Bay

Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:45am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - U.S. Open organizers were preparing for the likelihood of four days of mainly sunshine as the 115th edition of the year's second major got underway on the links-style Chambers Bay layout on Thursday.

Local PGA Tour professional Michael Putnam struck the first shot on the par-four opening hole and England's Jason Palmer began proceedings at the par-four 10th to launch the first U.S. Open to be played in the Pacific Northwest.

Masters champion Jordan Spieth was among the late starters, scheduled to tee off with 2013 champion Justin Rose of England and Australian Jason Day from the first at 2:17 p.m. PT (2117 GMT) in one of the most eye-catching trios of the day.

Spieth will be seeking his second major crown after clinching his first in sensational fashion at the Masters in April when he completed a wire-to-wire victory by four shots to match Tiger Woods's tournament record low for 72 holes.

Woods, who has been struggling for form and won the most recent of his 14 major titles at the 2008 U.S. Open, was also among the late starters, set to begin at 2:28 p.m. (2128 GMT) with fellow American Rickie Fowler and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Fans have several mouth-watering groupings to watch in the early morning, among them five-times major winner Phil Mickelson, American Bubba Watson and Argentina's Angel Cabrera.

Mickelson would be a hugely popular winner at Chambers Bay this week where he is bidding to claim his national championship for the first time.

The American left-hander has been runner-up at the U.S. Open a record six times, most recently in 2013 when he finished two shots behind Englishman Rose.   Continued...

Jun 15, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; General view of the 16th hole during practice rounds on Monday at Chambers Bay. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports