Tweaks leave Chambers Bay more playable
U.S. Amateur (Round of 64)
Sixty-four golfers tackled tough Chambers Bay in the first round of match play at the U.S. Amateur.
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – When match play got under way Wednesday at the 110th U.S. Amateur Championship, many of the players probably wondered if they were playing the same Chambers Bay course they battled against in stroke play.
Par was the same at 71 and the fairways remained firm and fast. But on the tees and greens, players experienced a little different look and setup.
During stroke play, the greens were as hard as asphalt and measured 13 on the USGA Stimpmeter. They were watered heavily Tuesday night and the average speed was reduced to 11 1/2.
For stroke play, Chambers Bay played to 7,742 yards, the longest course in USGA championship history.
Some 700 yards were shaved off for match play, probably making a few players feel they were once again playing “normal” golf.
Seven holes had the tee markers moved up, including the par-4 10th, which was 125 yards shorter. The hole played 308 yards and gave players the option of trying to drive the green with a front-right hole location. (Nevermind that the pin was tucked just behind a bunker.)
“It was shorter and the greens were softer, but don’t let anyone kid you,” said Mike McCoy, a 47-year-old standout amateur from West Des Moines, Iowa. “The course is still plenty tough and you still have to hit precise shots and have some bounces go your way.”
McCoy lost his opening match, 3 and 2, against David Chung, the Stanford junior who earlier this summer won the Porter Cup and Western Amateur in consecutive weeks.