Open purse raised to $10 million


UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – The USGA held its annual news conference on the eve of the U.S. Open. Executive director Mike Davis and president Tom O’Toole were joined by Reg Jones, senior director of the U.S. Open, and Diana Murphy, vice president of the USGA to break down everything at Chambers Bay.

Here are some interesting tidbits about the week:

• The purse has been raised to $10 million, which matches the purses for the Masters, The Players and the PGA Championship.

• Davis said he expects overall yardage of Chambers Bay to play between 7,300-7,700 yards and noted that there is more elevation change here than at any other U.S. Open.

• Green speeds will run between 11 1/2 and 12 on the Stimpmeter. Davis says that, contrary to what many players believe, the greens will actually get quicker as the day progresses, not get slower.

Pace of play is going to be an issue. The USGA has set a goal of 4 hours, 45 minutes for the first few groups of each session to play, knowing that it will get progressively slower during the day.

• There is 21 minutes worth of walking time during a round at Chambers Bay. It was 13 1/2 minutes last year at Pinehurst and 11 minutes two years ago at Merion.