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The brown, lumpy patches that dotted nearly every putting surface at Chambers Bay and became the story of the 2015 U.S. Open are now lush, smooth and a Northwest-appropriate shade of green. Four years after a championship that was largely derided because of its putting green problems, Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, may have salvaged its future hopes of being part of golf’s championship rotation with a massive effort to replace every green on the course.
Good friends and ex-Duke championship teammates Celine Boutier of France and Yu Liu of China are tied for the top after three rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open. Boutier shot 69, while Liu had a 66 to reach 7 under. They were a stroke in front of Lexi Thompson, Jaye Marie Green and Japan’s Mamiko Higa, who led each of the first two rounds. Boutier and Liu were members of Duke’s NCAA title-winning squad in 2014.
Mamiko Higa of Japan birdied three of her final six holes following a nearly two-hour weather delay to shoot an even-par 71 and maintain a one-shot lead in the suspended second round of the U.S. Women’s Open. Jessica Korda was second after a 68.
Japan’s Mamiko Higa shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 for the lowest round in a U.S. Women’s Open debut Thursday and took a one-shot lead over American amateur Gina Kim and Germany’s Esther Henseleit. The 25-year-old Higa tied for the third-lowest round in U.S. Women’s Open history. Helen Alfredsson holds the record with a 63 in the opening round in 1994.
Two-time champion Ernie Els has been given a special exemption to the U.S. Open for the second straight year. Els is the first player since Hale Irwin in 2002 and 2003 to receive special exemptions in consecutive years. Els won the U.S. Open in a three-man playoff at Oakmont in 1994 and at Congressional in 1997. The U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for the sixth time on June 13-16.
Viktor Hovland of Norway and UCLA sophomore Devon Bling have advanced to the U.S. Amateur final at Pebble Beach. Hovland, a junior at Oklahoma State, made six birdies on seven holes on the back nine to knock off Texas teen Cole Hammer 3 and 2. Bling beat Stanford senior Isaiah Salinda of South San Francisco 1 up in an all-California matchup.
Laura Davies made six birdies and a 60-foot eagle putt to shoot a women’s course-record 66 at Chicago Golf Club and earn a five-shot lead in the first U.S. Senior Women’s Open. American Juli Inkster moved into second with a 5-under 68. Inkster finished her round with a 20-foot eagle putt.
Laura Davies and Trish Johnson shot 4-under-par 142 for 36 holes at Chicago Golf Club to share the lead in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Both stand at 4-under par 142 through 36 holes. First-round leader Elaine Crosby trails by six strokes after shooting a 5-over 78.
Phil Mickelson has apologized four days later for hitting a moving ball on the 13th green in the third round of the U.S. Open. Mickelson hit the ball back toward the hole after his putt was heading off the green. He says he is “embarrassed and disappointed by my actions.” He got a two-stroke penalty on the hole and carded a 10 on his way to an 81 for the round. He says his frustration and anger got the best of him.
If the aim of the U.S. Open is to identify the best player, then the last three got it right. The problem is a tendency to remember what went wrong.
Curtis Strange has some advice for Brooks Koepka ahead of next year’s U.S. Open: Study up on Willie Anderson.
The only thing that spared Dustin Johnson from another U.S. Open implosion is that everyone around him suffered on a Shinnecock Hills course that even the USGA conceded got out of hand Saturday afternoon.
Dustin Johnson handled the worst of the weather and wound up as the sole survivor to par at the U.S. Open, taking a four-shot lead into the weekend at Shinnecock Hills.
The return to a classic U.S. Open course brought back the kind of scoring that gave this major its reputation. Dustin Johnson played some of his best golf and yet the world’s No. 1 player barely beat par in the opening round in the treacherous wind at Shinnecock Hills. He shared the lead at 1-under 69 with three other players.
The world’s best golfers are crossing their fingers and hoping for luck as they head to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open this week. It’s not the pin placements or green speeds they’re worried about. Not the weather or the depth of the rough, either. It’s the Long Island traffic that has snarled their commutes to the course, stranding them on two- and four-lane roads, staring at brake lights for hours on trips that would otherwise be as short as 15 minutes.
The U.S. Open wants to be the ultimate test in golf, and sometimes that leads to a series of trick questions. One of them was 14 years ago at Shinnecock Hills.
No longer the red-hot weekly rivals they’d been over the previous two decades, Tiger Woods, now 42, is seeking to win his first major title in a decade, while Phil Mickelson, at 47, is still chasing his first U.S. Open title (after six runner-up finishes) to complete the career Grand Slam.
The U.S. Open prefers to be looked upon as the ultimate test in golf, which can be an invitation for trouble. Mike Davis knows that as well as anyone. The executive director of the USGA remembers all too well what happened the last time the US Open was at Shinnecock Hills
Such is the stature of century-old Shinnecock Hills that it seems everyone can’t wait for the U.S. Open. No one is more excited about a return to Shinnecock Hills than the USGA with tradition on its side for the 118th U.S. Open championship. As much as it tries to present the ultimate test, lately it has seemed more like a trivia quiz.
Tiger Woods will play the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open with Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson. It will be the 10th anniversary of Woods’ most recent U.S. Open win at Torrey Pines, which was the first time the USGA grouped the top three players in the world ranking together. This time, Thomas is No. 1, Johnson is No. 2 and Woods is ranked 80th. Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will also play together at Shinnecock Hills on New York’s Long Island.