Mickelson plays practice round at Chambers Bay

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Count Phil Mickelson among the players who have gotten a sneak peek at this year's U.S. Open venue.

Mickelson made the trip to Washington to scout Chambers Bay on Thursday, spending 3 1/2 hours during a nine-hole practice round alongside short-game instructor Dave Pelz.

According to a News-Tribune report, Mickelson spent more than 30 minutes studying the first hole, which will alternate between a par-4 and a par-5 during championship week. He described Chambers as a "very interesting course" to a group of local reporters and noted that it is reminiscent of the links-style layouts often seen at the Open Championship.

"It's very versatile," Mickelson said. "There's a lot of different ways to set it up."

Local reporter Aaron Levine also snapped a few pictures of Mickelson studying the course (in shorts, no less):

Mickelson's scouting trip comes just before his playing schedule heats back up in advance of the season's second major. Mickelson will play next week at the Memorial Tournament, followed by a start at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in the last event before the U.S. Open.