Chambers Bay is a different course than many will ever encounter in their life. It is 7.5 miles that features big elevation changes, tons of bunkers and greens that will make you cry. There is also only one tree on the entire course.
A few players voiced displeasure at the course before the tournament began. One player being Ian Poulter who tweeted about players who made scouting trips “called the course a complete farce”. Whatever he means by that.
U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis suggested that players spend more time than normal at the course, “I would contend that there is no way a player will have success here at Chambers Bay unless he really studies the golf course and learns it.” Davis said at media day. “The idea of coming in and playing two practice rounds and having your caddie just walk it and using your yardage book, that person’s done,” Davis said. “Will not win the U.S. Open.”
Wild Weekend, Wild Course; The 2015 US Open
Day 1 opened up and the course was about as fun as everyone predicted it to be. Many struggled, including Tiger woods who shot a 10 over 80 in the first round.
Chambers Bay Golf Club was supposed to play as one of the toughest courses in recent major history, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson both found a way to make it out of the first round with the lead at five-under 65.
Johnson made his push on the front nine with four birdies in the first seven holes. Stenson got his on the back with four in the last five holes.
Phil Mickelson was the early clubhouse leader Thursday but three bogeys on holes 10, 13 and 14 dropped him to one-under 69, tied for 14th.
One of the biggest surprises of the day though was amateur Brian Campbell, who qualified for the U.S. Open at the Newport Beach sectional, who was tied at third at four-under with six birdies.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth had a solid if not dominating round to start the championship finishing with a two-under tied for seventh. Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 golfer in the world, finished two-over tied for 62nd.
The thing about the golfing world right now is you can never sleep on Jordan Spieth.
The 21-year-old put together a string of three birdies to climb up to 3 under for a tie at sixth through 13 holes at the U.S. Open.
Spieth had a 17-foot putt for birdie on the par 4 No. 13 after his two approach shots on holes 11 and 12 set him up for short, easy puts of 12-inches and four feet.
Jason Day, who is also in the grouping with Spieth and Justin Rose, has also climbed up the leaderboard with a 4 under with five birdies.
Meanwhile, like Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler is getting beat down by the course at Chambers Bay. Woods has had trouble hitting the fairways and needed three shots to get out of the bunker at No. 14.
Woods shot a 10 over, him alongside Rickie Fowler (+9) and Louis Oosthuizen (+7) have also struggled with the course in that group.
After Thursday, it was Johnson and Stenson on top with Reed just a shot behind them.
The U.S. Open’s second round on Friday from Chambers Bay Golf Course in Washington proved to be a tough day for most golfers. The cut line going into the weekend was set at six-over (+6), meaning many notable golfers were sent home.
Round 2 only saw 18 players score below par 70 for Chambers Bay and only sixteen players are under par at the end of day two of the tournament. One of the key issues players were upset about is the greens and their noticeably brown color as well as their varying speeds hole to hole.
At the top of the leaderboard after two rounds, there is a tie at five-under (-5) between Master’s champion Jordan Spieth and 15th-ranked golfer Patrick Reed. In their second rounds, Spieth finished the day with a three-under (-3) 67 while Reed shot a one-under (-1) 69. In second, at four-under (-4), Dustin Johnson and Branden Grace are tied going into Saturday.
The number one ranked golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy, entered the weekend at four-over overall after shooting a two-over (+2) 72 in both of the opening rounds of the tournament. He was tied for 44th place going into Saturday. McIlroy was on pace to shoot a one-under (-1) until he double-bogeyed the 17th hole and followed that up with a bogey on 18.
Jim Furyk, the third ranked golfer in the world, will join McIlroy in 44th place at four-over overall. On Friday, Furyk, shot a three-over (+3) 73, hitting only ten greens in regulation.
Phil Mickelson followed up his 69 on Thursday with a 74 on Friday, which is good for a tie in 35th place at three-over par.
Bubba Watson followed up his even-par round of 70 on Thursday with a seven-over 77 on Friday, causing him to miss the cut by a single stroke.
Tiger Woods missed the cut after he shot a six-over (+6) 76 on Friday that was only slightly better than his ten-over 80 he shot on Thursday. One of the key problems for Woods at this tournament was his inability to hit the fairway. Over the course of Thursday and Friday, he hit only 57% of the fairways, which was way below the 73% average for the field. Obviously, hitting fairways at any course is a big deal, but att Chambers Bay, the links-style course has crazy elevation changes as well as some thick rough around the fairways. Woods continued to spray the ball all over the course forcing him to play off many awkward stances on hills and in the rough. Due to his poor play, Woods will now be forced to watch the rest of the rest of the U.S. Open from home and regroup for the next major, the British Open, which will take place next month at St. Andrews.
On moving day it was all one man making the big move to bring himself back into contention, remember Louis Oosthuizen after that horrendous opening round 77 with Fowler and Woods, well somehow at the end of Saturday he found himself at 1 under par, right back in the hunt in this tournament.
After 54 holes only 8 players sat under par, 4 at -4 and 4 at -1. Jordan Spieth (3rd round 71) Dustin Johnson (3rd round 70) Branden Grace (3rd round 70) and Jason Day (3rd Round 68) all found themselves tied at the top. The most impressive third round by a mile was from Jason Day. After collapsing on the 18th hole on Friday from vertigo before finishing his round to come out and shoot a 68 on Saturday is just remarkable, clearly the story of the day, and I wasn’t the only one that thought that. Colin Swatton his caddie had a similar opinion: “That was the greatest round I’ve ever watched. I said, ‘You’ve got the heart of a lion. You [Jason Day] get to show the world today you get to be the greatest you can be and look, let’s do it.’ And he just put his head down and kept walking, one foot in front of the other. It was pretty impressive.”
Dustin Johnson felt great headed into Sunday tied: “I’ve been in the situation a few times, so I know how to handle myself. I know what it takes to get it done and tomorrow I just need to go out there and focus one shot at a time. And we’ll see what happens.”
And Jordan Spieth knew he could bring more but still liked his chances: “I didn’t have my best stuff today, but still tied for the lead, and I’ve had my best stuff at times this week, and I’m pretty sure I know where it is and how to get it tomorrow and get ready to go.”
Louis Oosthuizen if he can put together another 66 like he did in the 2nd and 3rd rounds really had a shot going into Sunday, he seemed like a completely different man than the one that played on Thursday.
Dustin Johnson was absolutely belting it off the tee, and hit 14 fairways from 14 in a spectacular display of driving. The TaylorMade player reached six under after nine but a double bogey on 13 stopped him in his tracks.
“I’ve been in this situation a few times so I know how to handle myself,” said the 30-year-old,”I know what it takes to get it done.”
Grace also got it to six under, birdieing the eighth, but dropped away with three bogeys in five holes before a two on the par-three 15th got him back to four under.
“I’m stoked. I can’t wait,” said the 27-year-old who has six wins on the European Tour. When he gets going, he can look unbeatable.
Grace, Johnson and Spieth had birdie putts on the last that would have given them the solo lead. All three missed. It set itself for a Fathers Day and a day Golf Fans just live for.
If you love dramas, the final few holes of the 115th US Open brought you more drama than any soap opera could give To start the day, we had four men atop the leaderboard at four-under, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace, Jordan Spieth, and Jason Day. Spieth and Grace would tee off in the second-to-last pairing with Johnson and Day having the advantage (sometimes a disadvantage) of being in the final pairing. Through the front nine, it seemed like Johnson was on a mission to take this tournament and capture his maiden Grand Slam title by opening up a two-stroke lead on Spieth and a one-shot lead on Grace. The American, who took a six month hiatus after it was found he had a cocaine addiction, was putting extremely well but they just weren’t falling which could have extended his lead.
However, it wasn’t only the ones who started on top who were breathing down the neck of Johnson early on, Brandt Snedeker and Rory McIlroy put up rounds to remember early on to have their name near the top of the leaderboard before falling back down to earth on the back nine. Snedeker finished at -1 and was a serious threat after birdieing four straight to finish the back but posted a bogey on the 11th and double on the 14th. Meanwhile, McIlroy was -6 on the day through 13 but bogeys on 15 and 18 killed off any chance of the world number one grabbing his second title.
The back nine brought a plethora of dramatics which sadly Jason Day was not a part of after going three-over in his first four holes. Through 12 holes, we had a three-horse race at the top with Spieth and Grace co-leading at five-under and Johnson just a stroke back. Just like always, the US Open would come down to who finished the back nine the strongest. Putting comes and goes and that’s what happened to Johnson on the back nine. His putter earned him the lead after the front nine, but it let him down significantly through the first few holes on the back nine.
With three holes to play for the final group, all of a sudden Louis Oosthuizen had the hottest clubs on the course posting four birdies to move to -2 and had the three in front of him that were still playing, working up a sweat. The 16th hole was where all the fun began, unless you were the one out there playing. Spieth came out with the same swagger he had during the Masters on this hole and capped it off with a stunning birdie to put him at six-under. However, Grace had an egregious drive to start that hole putting him in sticky situation forcing him to save bogey on a 20-plus foot putt. He ended up double bogeying moving him down -3. Oosthuizen birdied this hole as well moving him in a tie with Grace, three-back of the leader.
If you thought 16 was fun, then the 17th was a roller coaster ride. Spieth, who is one to never show nerves, had the pressure of the US Open being on his clubs and struck an atrocious shot that landed well short of the green into the fescue. After a brilliant second shot, it fell apart for the Masters champion with a three-putt for a double bogey which sent him to -4. Grace saved par leaving Johnson on the tee unaware of what has happened in front of him on the 17th and 18th greens (Oosthuizen birdied the par-5 18th to become co and clubhouse leader at -4). Calmly, Johnson struck a delightful tee shot to give him a shot to move into a share of the lead and that he did.
As Johnson teed off on the 18th (which played as a par-five and not a par-four), Spieth finished off his round with a birdie to move into sole possession of the lead at -5 while Grace was forced to settle for another par to finish at -3. After Johnson’s drive, it looked to be written in the stars that the US Open title was his, especially after the tumultuous end to his season last year. His second shot set up about a ten-foot eagle putt to win it all. With Jason Day (who finished even) putting first, the American had a fantastic idea of the pace and slope of the green he’d be putting on. His eagle putt slid by leaving a not-so-straightforward four-footer to force the playoff. Johnson’s major career has always come down to disappointments and letdowns, it wasn’t about to happen again was it? Well, Heartbreak City officially struck Johnson as his birdie putt to force an 18-hole playoff tomorrow missed, ending the 115th US Open in the most melodramatic, heartbreaking, breathtaking, agonizing way possible… a three-putt. Johnson tapped in for par to finish tied for second at four-under, but all the disappointment was hidden as he picked up his son with a smile on his face after finishing up.
After it all, Spieth was still in shock saying he felt for Dustin but couldn’t put anything into perspective. Johnson said it just wasn’t meant to be. For Johnson, his major heartbreaks continue after he grounded the club in the 2010 PGA Championship taking him out of the playoff and shooting an 80 on the final day of the 2010 US Openafter coming in with a three-stroke lead. For Spieth, he continues to make history. He becomes the first male player since Gene Sarazen to win multiple majors before 22, youngest player since Bob Jones in 1923 to win the national championship, and first man since Tiger Woods in 2002 (sixth all-time), to win the US Open and Masters in the same year. We are halfway to a possible Spieth Slam and his next venture is at St. Andrews for The Open Championship. Thrilling and cruel, two words to describe the world of sports, and that is what we experienced today on the final 18 at Chambers Bay.