Going into the 115th U.S. Open, much of the chatter was about the mysterious Chambers Bay and how the newest major championship course would play. Each day, we'll talk to a caddie after their round to see what they learned on the course. The caddies will remain anonymous to protect their strategy and get the truth about what's really happening inside the ropes.
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- Fresh off their final U.S. Open rounds on Sunday, two caddies had a lot to say about Chambers Bay and how the USGA set up the course from day to day.
What are your impressions of the setup of this golf course and the adjustments the USGA made for Sunday's round?
Caddie 1: I don't think they softened the course whatsoever. The greens were just bad. I think the setup was fine, I think it's just all the greens. I think the course is fine. The ball rolls out in the fairways. I know they are 500-yard par 4s, but you're only hitting 7- and 8-iron [to the green] usually. It's not like you're hitting a hybrid on these 510-yard holes. I think it was fair. You're going to see an under-par winner, which doesn't happen often in a U.S. Open. I think the conditions are perfect. I think if the greens were a little better, I'd like it.
Caddie 2: My overall impression of the golf course isn't very good. The USGA set it up OK near as I could tell. Thursday I thought they gave us a real chance. But it played completely different from morning to afternoon times. And for what it is, it was probably about as fair as they could make it.
After seeing some low numbers on Sunday, are you surprised with how the golf course was set up?
Caddie 1: I am a little surprised. I mean, that tee way up on No. 16, the tee way up on No. 1. Yeah, I was a little surprised actually when we got to the first tee, and it was up about 40 yards. I thought they could have had a tougher pin on No. 18, but I guess for the fans, they're hoping for maybe an eagle at the end or something like that. An up tee on No. 15 -- yeah, it as set up pretty easy. Oh yeah, and they moved the tee way up on No. 12, too, with an easy pin. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the leaders shoots 4 or 5 under.
Caddie 2: When we were out there playing, there was a bit more wind. We played in the morning both days, so it was sort of gettable. Except the fourth hole, which they probably should just blow up and start over.
Were there any holes other than No. 4 that you thought by the afternoon would not be good?
Caddie 2: Yeah, the 14th hole is getting baked out like a son of a gun.
Were you happy about No. 18 as a par 5 on Sunday?
Caddie 1: Yes, absolutely. It's a brutal par 4. It just doesn't make much sense as a par 4 on Sunday for the most part. This place, the wind can shift, you know. So one hour it could be straight downwind, then if [the ball] ever got into a headwind, it could be a pretty dicey par 4. But where the pin was today, it would be OK as a par 4. I didn't mind it as a par 4. I know a lot of guys were complaining about it, but I thought it was fine. It's only 207 yards over that left bunker, and 99 percent of the field can carry that. I saw guys on Friday hitting in wedges and 9-irons [to the green]. So, I liked it.
Good golf course. They'll never come back here, but it was good. They won't be back here, I don't think. I think it was a pain in the butt for all the spectators, couple brutal walks for the players, so I don't think they'll be back.
What could the USGA have done to get this course in a better condition?
Caddie 2: Left it a quarry.