USGA pleased with Chambers Bay after US Amateur

By Associated PressAugust 31, 2010, 4:08 pm
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Until Chambers Bay morphed from an everyday public course into championship conditions, Mike Davis didn’t know what to expect.

Davis, the U.S. Golf Association’s director of rules and competition and responsible for developing the setup used at the U.S. Open, had some preconceived ideas of how Chambers Bay would play during the U.S. Amateur that ended on Sunday.

And after a week of watching the best amateur golfers in the world try and solve the hard fairways and sloping greens of the links course, Davis came away excited for what awaits five years from now when Chambers Bay hosts the U.S. Open.

“It’s very fun to set it up,” Davis said.

Fun seemed to be the overwhelming word players and officials used to describe the way Chambers Bay played during the Amateur, won by Oklahoma State’s Peter Uihlein. Shot making was at a premium, as was imagination, taking away the idea of shooting right at pins or playing the hole exactly as it appeared.

Uihlein had a perfect example in Sunday’s final against David Chung. Knowing his downhill putt on the drivable par 4 12th hole had no chance of stopping near the hold, Uihlein rolled his putt past the hole, up a slope and watched it inch back toward the cup, settling just a couple of feet away.

“You can’t really get close to the flags by hitting them at the flag. You’ve got to use the slopes and be creative,” Uihlein said. “You’ve got to hit every shot with a certain spin and height. You’ve really got to control your ball.”

Chambers Bay was awarded the Amateur and the 2015 Open within a year of the course first opening. It’s unique fescue grass, large footprint and setting on the shores of Puget Sound was the setting the USGA had been hoping to find to finally bring it’s national championship to the Pacific Northwest for the first time.

That meant the Amateur was a dress rehearsal for five years from now. The discoveries last week were plentiful.

For example, Davis learned that even with hard, brown fairways and greens, the grass at Chambers still needed sufficient water. During the stroke play portion of the Amateur, the firmness of the golf course got out of hand, Davis said.

The discovery: because of its sandy base, the golf course needed adequate water six, 12, 18 inches below the surface to maintain a level of fairness for players.

“There were some things that we did anticipate we thought might work really well. We had some questions about some things and there were some things that being very candid, we never had an idea, nor did the architects or any of the Chambers Bay people,” Davis said.

Davis said there will be plenty of adjustments to the golf course by the time it’s next in tournament conditions five years from now. Some fairways will be narrowed, others will be widened, and even others will be moved one direction or another. One major benefit for the USGA staff was seeing various weather conditions during the week and seeing winds blowing from three different directions.

Outside the ropes, there are issues with spectator transportation, crowd flow and fans climbing on the steep and slippery dunes around the course to be addressed.

“I think we’ll spend the next few years trying to get that right because this was a dry run,” said the USGA’s Tom O’Toole. “That’s why we came here. … A lot of notes this week (and) it will really help us in preparation for ’15.”

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.