Tallahassee Journal

Players: U.S. Open deserves better than setup at Chambers Bay

Players: U.S. Open deserves better than setup at Chambers Bay

Sergio Garcia took to Twitter with a broken heart after his opening round in the 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. Deflated after dealing with 18 ultra-fast, discolored greens that now resemble charred hash browns and present some of the funkiest contours, bumps and backboards, the Spaniard was passionate with 140 characters.

2015-6-20-sergio-garcia-teeTwo days and two rounds later, his mood hadn’t improved. “Why do they do this to the course?” Garcia said after shooting 70-75-70, adding that only the British Open carries more weight in his soul. “This is a great championship with great history. The U.S. Open deserves so much better than this. It hurts to see what they have done to the course. These greens, come on, let’s be honest, you can’t say they are good. It’s just not right.”

By most any measure, this U.S. Open hasn’t been right — not the greens, not the sporadic TV coverage of actual play, not the balls banging off slopes and backboards as if caged in a pinball machine. And certainly not the accessibility for fans, who can’t follow in step with their favorite players due to the tight quarters, mountainous layout and forbidden zones. Inside the ropes, the greens and scorched earth quickly became the story of the week. History has shown that the greens and the overall difficulty of the course will only become more problematic on the weekend, especially as the sun continues to bake the course.

“It is borderline laughable at some of the greens and some of the pin positions,” said Henrik Stenson, “when we’re actually almost better off plugged in a bunker than being on the top of a ridge, like on the fourth. And it’s pretty much like putting on broccoli, as well.” Stenson cut off his remarks quickly after the second round in fear of being fined.