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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 150 - US Open Preview
O NE word sums up Chambers Bay: versatile. Many firsts were created in sending America’s national championship to a new site outside Seattle but the most telling difference between it and most US Open venues is the changeable nature of the layout. Neighbouring Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean not too far beyond will likely whip up some wind but most of the variables at the Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed layout will come via the course setup. Some holes have tees that vary the length by more than 120 metres, many teeing grounds are deliberately not uniformly level, while – and brace yourself for this one – two holes have variable pars. That’s right, the parallel but opposite- running 1st and 18th holes can play as either a par-4 or par-5 and will alternate between the two round by round. So when the opening hole is a par-4, the finisher will be a 5 and vice versa. Before it seems too atypical a US Open, other familiar traits will remain. The course is long, a par-70 of 6,500 to 7,000 metres depending on the setup, and the rough will be truly rough (even if the fairways are abnormally wide in places). The weather forecast is decent, giving USGA chief Mike Davis total control of the way Chambers Bay will play. With such a changeable arena, count on the players with the power of imagination and improvisation to prosper. Here are five holes shaping as pivotal to their chances: 5th 488 yards (446 metres), par-4 T HE elevated tee provides views of the sound in the distance and the fairway below, which narrows between two of the larger bunker schemes on the course. The second shot is complicated by the boomerang-shaped green and the lone pot bunker eating into its front edge. Expect to see players strike running approach shots in order to get the ball close to the flag.
OTG Express 149
OTG Express 151 - US Open Wrap