CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Adam Scott has heeded a warning that nobody who arrives only a couple of days before the U.S. Open will have a realistic chance of winning the June 18-21 championship at Chambers Bay near Seattle.
But fellow major winner Webb Simpson has laughed off the same advice and will arrive on site a few days beforehand, after playing in the PGA Tour event in Memphis the previous week.
Scott, the 2013 Masters champion who held the world number one ranking for 11 weeks last year, said he would be at Chambers Bay “a lot” in the weeks before the second major of the season.
“I plan to be there for a significant period,” the Australian told reporters on Wednesday on the eve of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
“It looks like something quite unique and hearing Mike Davis’s comments of (how) a person without good knowledge of the course won’t have a chance shows me that certainly you’re going to have to get a few rounds in and hopefully a few different conditions.”
U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis said last month that Chambers Bay, a new links-style course adjacent to Puget Sound, would require extensive homework by the players.
“I would contend that there is no way a player will have success here at Chambers Bay unless he really studies the golf course and learns it,” Davis told reporters.
“The idea of coming in and playing two practice rounds and just walking it and using your yardage book, that person is done. (He) will not win the U.S. Open.”
But American Simpson, who won the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, said his busy schedule would preclude an early reconnaissance mission.
“I can’t get out there. It’s not exactly easy to get there from the East Coast,” Simpson told reporters at Quail Hollow.
“I heard what (Davis) said. It’s just I love playing the St. Jude (Classic in Memphis). That would be my only window to go. I would rather play in that tournament than go see (Chambers Bay).”
Simpson, however, plans to be extra focused once he arrives on site for the U.S. Open.
“I‘m really going to be serious about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and almost make those days more important than the tournament, and just see what happens,” he said.
Like Scott, Phil Mickelson will pay an early visit to Chambers Bay, something that has become a habit ahead of the majors for the six-time U.S. Open runner-up.
“They close (Chambers Bay) on May 27th. I’ll plan on going there sometime after that,” American Mickelson said.
Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes