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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 47° Rain

Chambers Bay’s lone fir a survivor

Chambers Bay has one tree that stands behind the 15th green and 16th tee box. It doesn’t come into play unless someone has hit a truly awful shot.

It did come into play in April, 2008, for a miscreant who hacked about three inches into the Douglass fir, roughly one-fifth of the tree’s diameter, in a vandalism binge that included damaging some signs on the course and leaving behind numerous empty beer cans.

The perpetrator wasn’t caught. Workers fortified the iconic tree with a pair of metal straps and some protective fencing and it has made a strong recovery. It has served as a backdrop for numerous wedding photos and can probably be found on thousands of phones in pictures snapped from the 15th tee box. The tree is prominent in the cover photo of “America’s St. Andrews,” a book about Chambers Bay.

“They took a little wedge out of it,” general manager Matt Allen said. “We weren’t sure what the impact would be but it’s continued to survive.”

The par-3 15th hole has an obvious name: Lone Fir.

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