U.S. Open tracker: Day 1 at Chambers Bay

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 18, 2015, 1:45 pm

The 115th U.S. Open takes place this week at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. GolfChannel.com is tracking the men's second major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional U.S. Open coverage, click here for full-field scores and click here for our Tiger Tracker. And click here for "Live From" air times. All-times for the U.S. Open tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

11:45PM: That's it for Day 1: Here's a final look at the leaderboard, we'll be back again tomorrow with more updates.

11:10PM: At least he can joke about it.

10:57PM: Tiger shoots 80. Some unreal stats.

10:50PM: Spieth, Day finish at 2 under par: Solid starts for two of the favorites coming into the week.

10:40PM: (Jaw drops)

10:35PM: Amateur Brian Campbell is closing strong: Two birdies in a row and he's one off the lead.

10:20PM: Big names on the course at +1 include ... Kevin Kisner, Justin Rose, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker.

10:10PM: Finally, a birdie. Tiger's now beating Fowler by a stroke.

10:05PM: Day rebounds with a birdie on 16. He's back to 3 under par, along with Ben Martin (thru 15).

9:50PM: Down, but not out: Some late miscues by Spieth and Day, but they're still only three off the lead.

9:38PM: Just keeps getting worse. And he still has four holes left.

9:34PM: Another birdie for Day, and he's only one stroke behind Stenson and DJ.

9:20PM: Just a reminder, Hammer is 15 years old.

9:15PM: At 7 over par, Rickie Fowler's had an awful day, but he almost aced the par-4 12th.

9:10PM: Here comes Jordan: That's three birdies in a row for Jordan Spieth ...

9:01PM: Yeesh, not pretty ...

8:57PM: Day's going low: Jason Day adds another birdie on No. 12 to get to 3 under, two off the lead.

8:45PM: Look at that club fly! ICYMI, Tiger let his club go after hacking out of the rough on No. 8.

8:30PM: That's a birdie for Spieth. After a short putt on the 11th, Spieth reaches under par for the first time in Round 1.

8:25PM: Some thoughts on Henrik Stenson, who shot a career-low in the majors on Thursday, a 5-under 65.

8:20PM: Pick up the pace. That's what rules officials have told the Tiger-Rickie-Louis trio, according to the TV folks.

8:15PM: Jordan Spieth has been steady. The Masters champ is at even par through 10 holes, with one birdie and one bogey.

8:14PM: And lest we forget about Rickie Fowler ... he turned in 8 over par.

8:08PM: Tiger Woods turns in 4-over 39. No big numbers on his card (four bogeys, no birdies), but lots of bad swings and poor putts.

8PM: Amateur Brian Campbell is 3 under through seven holes. The 22-year-old Illinois senior made it through local and sectional qualifying to reach Chambers Bay.

7:52PM: Tiger Woods manages to save par at the par-5 eighth, despite a wayward tee shot and his club flying from his hand after impact on his second shot. Rickie Fowler, meanwhile, doubled the eighth. Tiger is at 4 over, Rickie at 5 over.

7:47PM: Jason Day is on the move. He makes a 25-footer for birdie at the ninth to turn in 2 under 33.

7:39PM: The saga continues for Tiger Woods off the tee on No. 8.

7:35PM: Jordan Spieth birdies the par-5 eighth to get back to even par for the tournament.

7:22PM: Some analysis of Rory McIlroy's opening-round 2-over 72.

7:15PM: Another bogey for Tiger. Woods drops to 4 over through six holes.

7:10PM: Jordan Spieth makes his first non-par. Unfortunately, it's a bogey at the sixth to drop to 1 over.

6:58PM: Ben Martin is off to a great start. Par-birdie-eagle has him at 3 under through three holes.

6:46PM: Meanwhile, there are 32 players currently under par, including amateur Beau Hossler, of Olympic Club fame in 2012. Starting at the 10th, he turned in 1-under 34.

6:39PM: Another bogey for Tiger Woods. He's 3 over through four holes.

6:28PM: In case you missed it, U.S. Senior Open champion Colin Montgomerie opened in 1-under 69 today.

6:22PM: Four holes, four pars for reigning Masters champion Jordan Spieth.

6:19PM: For the record, Sergio had 33 putts in an opening-round, even-par 70.

6:14PM: Not that there would be anything wrong with a few tears on the first hole of your U.S. Open debut, but ...

6:06PM: Ian Poulter said he would let us know his feelings on Chambers Bay after the event is over. After a double on his first hole, we probably have our answer.

5:55PM: Just like that ... Tiger is 2 over after two holes.

5:38PM: Our feel-good story of the tournament is in the clubhouse with a 7-over 77. Not bad for a 15-year-old.

5:35PM: And we have our first "Oh ... Tiger," from Tiger, after he sprays his approach right on No. 1. Only took two shots.

5:30PM: Tiger, Rickie and Louis are off, all down the middle of the fairway. Rickie gets a mock "overrated" chant from the fans.
5:23PM: You can't birdie them all ... if you don't birdie the first. 2013 U.S. Open champ Justin Rose hits his approach to two feet on hole No. 1.

5:19PM: And ... Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Jason Day are off. Big Cat coming up soon.
5:13PM: Definitive proof that "Seinfeld" stands the test of time, Fox just quizzed Cole Hammer on the 90's, only question he got right was, "What is Seinfeld's first name?"
4:58PM: Perks of being Tiger Woods: Warming up and watching your swing on the big screen that overlooks the range.
4:53PM: Meanwhile. world No. 1 Rory McIlroy had a rough finish, bogeying two of his final three holes for a 2-over 72 on Day 1. Agrees with Phil that the short putts are the toughest because it is "tough to commit to your lines" on these greens.

4:42PM: Reminder: Henrik Stenson is No. 5 in the world. He just freshened up everyone's memory birdieing four of his final five holes to tie DJ at 5-under 65.

4:26PM: Immediately after announcers say he has no imagination, Dustin Johnson hits one out of the fescue on his final hole in what looks like the opposite direction of the green, but uses the slope and the ball ends up 15 feet from the hole. His put comes up short and he makes his only bogey of the day, but is the leader in the clubhouse after a 5-under 65.
4:12PM: She's not wrong.

4:05PM: Bubba, Phil take different approaches to post-round interviews. Bubba doesn't speak. Phil goes classic Phil, "I’m under par the first round of the U.S. Open, I’m pretty pleased." Ends interview with a hug.

3:55PM: Mickelson backs up a bit on the back nine, but still finishes with a 1-under 69, well within striking distance of the career Grand Slam after Day 1.
3:50PM: Bubba not happy after having to wait to hit his second shot on 18: "Wait 30 minutes ... this is pathetic professional golf." Finishes with even-par 70 on Day 1.

3:36PM: Guy who knows just a tad bit about Chambers Bay, Michael Putnam:

3:29PM: Dustin Johnson gets it to 5 under with another birdie. Fourteen bogey-free holes now. While he's lighting it up, only 11 other players are under par. DJ dominating with his Tour-leading length in Round 1.

3:20PM: The first group is in the house. University Place resident Michael Putnam turns in an even-par 70. Putnam, Marcus Fraser (71) and Steve Marino (75) went around in 5 hours and 10 minutes. It's slow going out there.
3:12PM: Lest you forget, the railway adjacent to the 16th hole is active. A train just stopped to watch Phil and Bubba play 16. Here's Rory from a bit earlier:

3:01PM: We have a new leader. Dustin Johnson makes birdie at No. 4 to get to 4 under. Bogey-free through 13 holes. In search of his first major championship. Worth note (tweet prior to last birdie):
2:54PM: Stunning view of the property at Chambers Bay. Those hills also explain the aforementioned stretcher. Joe Buck on the broadcast said the elevation changes while walking the golf course were akin to going up and then back down the 605-foot Space Needle in nearby Seattle.

2:49PM: This is why some of the players have retained a backup caddie. Stay safe, folks.
2:45PM: Just like Phil, Reed plays the front nine without a dropped shot and promptly bogeys his 10th hole of the day. Speaking of Mickelson, who led by himself at 3 under just an hour ago, back-to-back bogeys have him back to minus-1. Serious bunker problems for Lefty on 14. He was lucky to only lose one shot.
2:40PM: Looking for Rory? The world No. 1 is even par through 10 after trading two birdies and two bogeys on his opening nine. Lurking.

2:26PM: Chambers Bay is already showing its teeth. The morning wave expected to have it easier but just eight players find themselves in red numbers. Mike Davis re-emphasized on the broadcast that the golf course is only going to get faster and firmer as the day goes on. This was just from a practice round on Tuesday:
2:20PM: Reed turns in 4-under 31. Dustin Johnson to 3 under par, one shot back. Mickelson, meanwhile, dropped another shot at 13 and is back to 2 under. A look at Reed's spotless opening nine:

2:15PM: The defending champ is off to an interesting start. Martin Kaymer bringing the color, with a bogey, an eagle, a double bogey and a birdie.

2:00PM: Reed it and leap. Patrick Reed has leapfrogged Phil Mickelson for the lead at 115th U.S. Open. Reed at 4 under through eight after back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17.

1:47PM: Course info. Closing hole sounds like driver-wedge.

1:44PM: Bounce-back birdie for Phil at 11. Mickelson back in the lead by himself at 3 under after a beautiful 6-iron approach to the green landed on a hill and tracked to the hole. Birdie putt. Draino.
1:41PM: He's alive. We were worried. We're always worried. Somebody put a bell on him or something.
1:31PM: Big names in the early mix. Seven-way tie at the top of the board. Five of those players reside in the top 17 of the Official World Golf Ranking. What a start.

1:25PM: Phil's first dropped shot comes at the par-4 10th. Second shot wound up on the back of the green and he three-putted from what might as well have been Siberia. Played his first putt nowhere near the direction of the hole and tried to ride a massive slope. Would have been a miracle par. Back to 2-under.

1:19PM: Seventh time is the charm? Your early leader, Phil Mickelson, has finished runner-up at the U.S. Open a record six times. His list of near-misses: 1999 Pinehurst, 2002 Bethpage, 2004 Shinnecock, 2006 Winged Foot, 2009 Bethpage, 2013 Merion.

1:10PM: Like Sergio at Medinah! 15-year-old Cole Hammer, who was visibly emotional starting his round, just took off running in the 12th fairway to see around some kind of mountain after playing his shot. Kid is a little fired up. Par-bogey-par start.

1:04PM: Lefty goes out in 3-under 32. We're all going to go through this yet again on Sunday - aren't we?

12:53PM: Preliminary research reveals an uncanny resemblance:

12:44PM: Have to wonder if ... he ever asked for a Red Ryder when he was a kid.

12:33PM: Is this real life? Phil, Stenson, DJ, Scott all in the mix at the U.S. Open:

12:30PM: What she said.

12:26PM: TAP-IN. That's what 15-year-old Cole Hammer had on his first hole at the 115th U.S. Open, as he left his birdie putt MERE ROTATIONS short. What were YOU doing at 15?

12:20PM: Imagery of what just happened at Chambers Bay:

12:14PM: It's Hammer time. Cole is the third-youngest player to ever compete in a U.S. Open.

12:08PM: World No. 1 made birdie at this hole to get to 1 under (No. 10 was Rory McIlroy's first hole of the day).

11:57AM: "Absolutely the best thing" is how Mark Rolfing referred to an early tee time on Thursday at the 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

11:53AM: Mickelson leads the U.S. Open. We're just going to leave this here:

11:47AM: We're not saying anything ... but we're just saying. Colin Montgomerie (three Champions Tour major championships, zero on the regular circuit) birdies his opening hole.

11:42AM: Conditions are ... perfect, it seems, for the next few hours at Chambers Bay:

11:35AM: Best seat in the house? Kelly Tilghman's view from the 'Live From' set:

11:18AM: Phil co-leads the U.S. Open alongside Cody Gribble after a birdie at No. 3:

11:13AM: Sergio Garcia is seeing red ... even though he's not yet on the golf course. Warming up with a dark red golf ball in advance of his 11:17 tee time.

10:56AM: Meanwhile, a certain lefty is off to a rough start. Bubba, not Phil.

10:50AM: Hey, ma! Look at me! Former Texas teammate of Jordan spieth, Cody Gribble is the early leader at the 115th U.S. Open:

10:35AM: Hear from Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA, on the Thursday setup:


10:29AM: The No. 1 player in the world has arrived and is warming up on the range:


10:22AM: On 'Live From' the U.S. Open, John Feinstein reported that players were given an emergency phone number to call if, when out on the course, they fall and need help, because "that's how difficult" Chambers Bay is to walk.


10:15AM: The pin locations for the opening round:


10:03AM: The first group is off, led by Michael Putnam. Only 51 more to go ...

9:55AM: Phil Mickelson is warming up for his first round at 10:33 a.m. ET

9:50AM: The course setup for Thursday looks like this:

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – 

Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Web.com Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.