Two locals, Michael Putnam and Troy Kelly, got the 115th U.S. Open under way Thursday morning and 7 sharp. Putnam pulled his tee ball left and settled for a bogey, while Kelly reached No. 10 green in regulation and parred.
Kelly bogeyed No. 11, though.
On a cool, gray morning, Chambers Bay was already showing its teeth as five of the first 12 players to mark scores are over par. That includes Josh Persons, who tripled No. 10.
An all-star pairing – Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Angel Cabrera – teed off at 7:33 a.m. Mickelson and Watson each missed their second shots and had their balls roll off the green. Mickelson recovered with a chip shot to within inches of the hole to record a par while Watson had a double bogey after chipping short and having the ball roll back to him.
A lot of talk during the run up was about the course set up and how USGA executive director Mike Davis would configure Chambers Bay.
The first hole was set up as a 496-yard par-4, rather than a 598-yard par-5. On the 18th, Davis went with a 604-yard par-5 rather than a 525-yard par-4.
Davis has lots of options on the other holes because of the ability to use different tee boxes. For example, No. 9, a par 3, can play a steep uphill or as a 100-foot drop to the green.