Chambers Bay has taken its fair share of criticism as it hosts its first major championship. The unique course does not seem to be winning over players. And while it’s not uncommon for struggling golfers to air their grievances, those voices are being joined by a few at the top of the leaderboard.
Jordan Spieth, who is tied for the lead entering play today, is among them.
This is the dumbest hole I’ve ever played in my life,” Spieth said of the 18th hole.
The hole can be played either as a short par-5 or a long par-4. Spieth posted a double bogey yesterday after the second option was selected.
Another common refrain among disgruntled players is the problematic greens.
Sergio Garcia took to Twitter after the first round to proclaim, “A championship of the caliber of the U.S. Open deserves better green surfaces.” Colin Montgomerie called the greens “extremely poor.” Phil Mickelson said after the first round, “I think the biggest challenge is that the greens are different speeds from green to green.” Mickelson said, “What I found is that they’re not the most true surfaces downhill, because you can’t hit it hard enough to hold the line. But uphill they seem to hold the line just fine.”
If there’s one thing the USGA enjoys, it’s playing mind games with players. These gripes have to be a secret delight to their ears. They knew exactly what they were getting with Chambers Bay and are now reaping the benefits, even if some of those are controversy surrounding the venue.