Chambers Bay a controversial Open venue for players

Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:35pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - Masters champion Jordan Spieth gave Chambers Bay a worthy winner at the U.S. Open after a riveting final round but the greens on the links-style layout did not meet with universal player approval.

Especially on the lower part of the course adjacent to the waters of Puget Sound, poa has mixed in with the dominant fescue grass on already slick and heavily contoured greens, creating a blotchy look and some very uneven and unpredictable putts.

England's Ian Poulter launched into a tirade after closing with a seven-over-par 77, describing the greens as the "worst most disgraceful surface I have ever seen" while American Billy Horschel said they were "very disappointing" after carding a 67.

The views expressed by Poulter and Horschel are noteworthy as they are both known as good putters though Australian Geoff Ogilvy offered a contrasting opinion, telling Reuters he thought PGA Tour players had become spoilt and should be able to adapt.

"We have it so perfect every week," said Ogilvy, who won the 2006 U.S. Open and tied for 18th at Chambers Bay after shooting a 67. "We are losing the ability to adapt, to see the speed difference when you look at it, to feel it under your feet.

"We've played far bumpier greens at U.S. Opens than this. Pebble Beach is one, in the morning they're great and it all kind of changes in the afternoon when the sun comes out.

"Yeah, there are a couple of ropey greens here, but good putters usually hole more putts on slightly ropey greens."

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened for play in 2007, picturesque Chambers Bay featured the biggest elevation changes ever seen at a U.S. Open and was set up for the second round at 7,695 yards -- the longest layout to stage the major.   Continued...

Jun 21, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole in the final round of the 2015 U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports