University Place is hosting a who’s who of big-time stars and lesser-known professionals, some playing in their first U.S. Open. The Puget Sound flows behind those at the driving range, the fescue-laded course lies in front and some autograph-seeking spectators bustle about.
Welcome to the first major golf championship to ever come to the Pacific Northwest.
Monday marked the first day of official practice rounds at Chambers Bay, with 14-time major-championship winner Tiger Woods one of the first to hit the course. He played by himself starting at the 10th hole at 7 a.m.
The other 7 a.m. golfer? Jared Becher – who started from the first hole and is playing his first PGA Tour event and it happens to be the U.S. Open.
Michael Putnam, who lives about a mile away and grew up in University Place, signed a couple autographs at about 9 a.m. walking off the putting green to catch a shuttle alongside brother and caddie Joel Putnam before his 9:12 a.m. practice round. He headed to the 10th hole with Cameron Tringale and Charley Hoffman.
Cole Hammer, the 15-year-old University of Texas commit, will practice with Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Texas alum and No. 2-ranked golfer in the world.
Here’s the rest of Monday’s practice schedule: