UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – As expected, the USGA has once again flipped the par for the opening and closing holes at Chambers Bay, but that decision likely had less to do with player pushback than it did a predetermined blueprint.
The closing hole will be a par 5 (595 yards), like it was on Thursday, after many players, including co-leader Jordan Spieth, blasted the hole as a par 4 on Friday.
“I think 18 as a par 4 doesn't make much sense. Of course, at the moment, when I didn't hit the right shots it's going to make less sense,” said Spieth, who made a double bogey-6 on Friday at the 18th hole.
“There's a group of about 10, 12 guys that can fly the ball 310 yards that have an entirely different hole to play there. For anybody else you have to hit it in a 5- or 6-yard area.”
Sources within the USGA, however, indicated before the championship began that executive director Mike Davis planned to flip the pars at the first, which is playing 499 yards for Round 3, and 18th holes all along, with the closing hole playing as a par 4 for Sunday’s final round.
Davis also switched the tee box on the par-3 ninth hole, moving to the lower teeing ground on Saturday after using the upper teeing ground on Friday.
Also of note for Saturday’s third round is the hole location at the short par-4 12th, which is located in the back portion of the green – which is the easiest location for the driveable hole.