UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Chambers Bay can stretch to nearly 8,000 yards, but it isn’t playing nearly that far during the opening round of the U.S. Open.
Course setup will vary drastically from day to day, and USGA officials have opted to begin the tournament with a 7,497-yard, par-70 layout. The first hole, which will change par during the week, is playing as a 501-yard par 4 on Thursday, while No. 18 is set up as a 617-yard par 5.
USGA executive director Mike Davis said Wednesday that he expects the course to play between 7,300 and 7,700 yards this week.
Six par 4s measure more than 500 yards, including the 541-yard 11th hole, which is the longest par-4 in U.S. Open history. That mark was previously set in 2011, when No. 18 at Congressional measured 533 yards.
The par-3 ninth is playing 203 yards from the lower tee box, while players receive a break on other par 3s. The tees on No. 3 (148 yards) and No. 17 (173 yards) have each been moved up more than 50 yards, while No. 15 measures 167 yards.
USGA officials expect the greens to run 11-11 ½ feet on the Stimpmeter during the morning wave and 11 ½-12 feet during the afternoon. Fairways and greens were watered late Wednesday evening, with additional hand-watering Thursday morning based on firmness readings.