Chambers Bay plays its role
If you were fortunate enough to have access to coverage of the U.S. Open Thursday, you got one spectacular view of professional golf, and the range of emotions that engage the sport. After watching much of the first round of the Open, it hit me that more than one player would leave the course and talk to the media with some disgust about Chambers Bay with a quote something like "I hate this course, and I shot even par."
"But it sure made the game fun."
All those swales, the funky-colored greens, guys hitting the ball onto "backstops" way past the hole to have it roll back and narrowly miss going in - it was fun to watch. And, despite the challenges, the first round was one of the better scoring rounds in Open history with 29 players breaking par and a whole stack shooting par at 70.
There were 11 eagles on the par-4 12th hole, which virtually every player was able to reach with a driver.
And, still, there was the complaint, by Sergio Garcia about the course - at least the greens tweeting the Open “deserves better quality green surfaces than we have this week but maybe I’m wrong!”
And he shot 70.
If anyone could have been complaining about the greens, it would have been Tiger Woods. He was perhaps three combined inches away from making enough putts that he might have been at 70 instead of 80. But, he had so many other issues during his round, he could hardly single out the putting surface. And he played in one of the best/worst pairings of the day. Golden Boy Rickie Fowler was right there just waiting to make Woods look really old with a simple round of 70. But he shot, wow, 81. And the third player in the group, Louis Oosthuizen - getting a chance he may never get again to be in front of a large television audience, outdueled his partners with a 77.
A combined 28 over par. Chambers Bay kicked their butt, although no one looked at the course as causing their troubles. They just played terribly - Woods lost the grip on his club during one swing from long grass.
With the pairings swapping tee times from morning to afternoon and vice versa, the view of the course is likely to change for each player. Let's see what Sergio has to say after playing in the afternoon, where only 11 players broke par as opposed to 18 in the morning round.
Go get'em Chambers Bay!