Fine line between success, failure at Chambers Bay

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UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Maybe USGA executive director Mike Davis was right.

As players slowly began the process of learning the many points of interest at Chambers Bay this week, it’s become clear that Davis’ comments that competitors would need extra time if they hope to contend at this week’s U.S. Open have merit.

An abbreviated practice round on Tuesday with Lucas Glover, Kevin Kisner and amateur Jack Maguire quickly turned into a tutorial as the threesome made their way around the Robert Trent Jones Jr. design.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” Glover said after Maguire hit his tee shot at the par-4 12th hole, “but that is either awful or perfect.”


First-round tee times: 115th U.S. Open


The drive turned out to be closer to perfect, with Maguire’s ball rolling up just short of the putting surface, but the incident demonstrated the fine line between success and failure at Chambers Bay.

The morning round also reinforced how much influence Davis and the USGA will have in the outcome, with the group going over multiple tee box options as well as possible hole locations.

Specifically, the group studied the back of the 10th and 13th greens, which both feature severe drop offs for any ball that is hit long, which would suggest that officials might avoid that area. But at this U.S. Open nothing appears to be obvious.

“Where ever you think they won’t put it [hole location] then you know they will put it there,” said one member of the group.