USGA executive director Mike Davis suggested that only the players who arrive early to prepare at Chambers Bay will have a chance to win this year’s U.S. Open.
What about the nearly dozen 20-somethings who have already had a competitive crack at the links-style course?
With sectional qualifying in the books, it’s worth noting that 11 players who competed in the 2010 U.S. Amateur have already booked return trips to Chambers. (The USGA will fill out the other six spots in the field with those from the OWGR top 60 and alternate list.)
Some of the returnees aren’t surprising – Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Byeong-Hun An. But raise your hand if you ever thought Tom Hoge and Alex Kim would be able to put their 2010 U.S. Am experience to good use.
Of those 11 players, seven advanced to the match-play portion of the championship.
Everyone in the field that year played two rounds of stroke play – one at Chambers Bay, the other at the Home Course in nearby Dupont. The USGA admittedly let Chambers get out of control during the second day of qualifying, with conditions that were too firm and fast; Spieth, for instance, shot 83 and failed to advance.
Chambers eventually proved a worthy host, however, with the best players rising to the top. The final four consisted of Peter Uihlein, David Chung, Patrick Cantlay and An; Uihlein, then the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, defeated Chung in the 36-hole final. Neither finalist qualified for this year’s Open.
Here is how the 11 players in this year's Open field fared back in 2010:
- Byeong-Hun An (semifinalist)
- Blayne Barber (Round of 32)
- Russell Henley (did not advance)
- Morgan Hoffmann (quarterfinalist)
- Tom Hoge (did not advance)
- Alex Kim (Round of 32)
- Brooks Koepka (did not advance)
- Denny McCarthy (Round of 64)
- Cheng-Tsung Pan (Round of 64)
- Patrick Reed (Round of 32)
- Jordan Spieth (did not advance)