Long course results in slow play at U.S. Am
U.S. Amateur (Round 1)
Images from the first round of stroke-play qualifying at Chambers Bay.
Chambers Bay, at slightly more than 7,700 yards, is the longest course in U.S. Golf Association championship history. That made for some long rounds, and long waits in the scoring tent, as groups appealed pace-of-play penalties. There were times Monday that groups had to wait outside the tent as the group ahead of them appealed penalties.
Four groups did not complete play Monday, as the final groups were on pace to play in nearly 6 hours. In all, 12 players were given one-stroke, pace-of-play penalties at Chambers Bay. Three players at The Home Course, the other layout for stroke play, were assessed three penalty strokes apiece.
Mike Davis, the U.S. Golf Association’s senior director of rules and competition, estimated that 50-70 penalty strokes for pace-of-play have been given at the U.S. Amateur since the USGA’s checkpoint policy was adopted for the 2006 U.S. Amateur.
Chambers Bay is a difficult walking course, one reason for the long rounds. Firm, fast conditions also contributed to the problem.
“We really did feel that somewhere between 2:30 and 4 o’clock today, it just got too firm on us,” Davis said. “Really well-struck shots were ending up in places that the player wasn’t being rewarded for. In the last 4, 5, maybe 6 hours of golf today, it played firmer on the greens.”