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The Loop

In defense of Chambers Bay: Nobody will look back on US Open and demand an asterisk beside winner's name'

June 20, 2015

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"Diego Maradona and Pelé weren't prevented from being the finest football players in the world by the occasional poor pitch," Ewan Murray of the Guardian writes in defense of U.S. Open site Chambers Bay. "Golf needn't always be an exact and perfect science; in fact, it would be more boring that way. On the PGA Tour, it commonly is…in 50 years' time, nobody will look back on the US Open of 2015 and demand an asterisk is placed beside the winner's name."

Rory McIlroy reacting to poor shot (Getty Images)

John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal asks an interesting question: "No, the USGA has not lost its senses. Everything about bringing the 115th U.S. Open to Chambers Bay, an eight-year-old course in a part of the country that has never hosted an Open, was deeply considered. Still, this year's Open is an experiment that begs a question: How far can a major stray from its traditions before it risks losing stature?"


"Tiger Woods speak of him in reverential tones. No one has received more attention in the months leading up to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, mainly because of his reputation in this major over the past decade. His name is Mike Davis, and he's not even playing. Davis is the executive director of the USGA, the man largely responsible for U.S. Open coming to a golf course unlike any other in its 120-year history." Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press profiles Davis.


Chambers Bay has many dissenters, but Geoff Ogilvy, "one of pro golf's most ardent students of course architecture," Dave Shedloski writes at, is not among them. "Architecturally I think it's really good," Ogilvy said. "I'm not a big fan of massive elevation change, and I think it could have been avoided a couple of times, but obviously, they want the wow' factor of the view. Like the ninth hole [a par 3]. That's why you build that tee up there is for the wow factor.' It's architecturally very sound, which I wasn't expecting actually. I really like it."