Chambers Bay Video and Commentary by Course Architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay is coming up soon. Most people, Tour pros included, are not terribly familiar with Chambers Bay. The course is quite new and has not yet hosted any notable events. Below is a great video showing the golf course and including commentary from the golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

Robert Trent Jones Jr.

"Lots of firsts here." Course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. shares his insights on what you need to know about Chambers Bay and the #USOpen.

Posted by U.S. Open Championships on Friday, May 22, 2015

Having been on the course it will be interesting to watch a major championship there. The course is quite similar in style to many U.K. links courses, though all of the dunes were created by tractors, not nature.

Chambers Bay - Photo courtesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

Chambers Bay – Photo courtesy of HookedOnGolfBlog.com

The course typically is not green and plush like many american style course. Rather it is more brown and hard in a Scottish links fashion. Links courses tend to produce many unexpected bounces, both good and bad. Expect to hear many complaints from the pros who seem to get more of the bad bounces and praise from the pros who get the good ones.

Weekend Preview

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McIlory hosting this week’s Irish Open

EUROPEAN TOUR
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation
Dates: May 28-31
Venue: Royal County Down Golf Club (Championship Links) Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live) / 1-3:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 7 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-6 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-6 a.m. (Monday replay)

This week’s biggest headliner Rory McIlory is hosting the Irish Open at Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. Tour players will not know this course well, as the last time it hosted the event was in 1939.

The event’s charity recipient is the Rory Foundation, created in 2013 to help children’s charities around the globe.

Mikko Ilonen is the defending champion this week, having held off Edoardo Molinari by one shot last year.

Headlining the Field: Rory McIlory, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Uihlein.

TPC Four Seasons 18th Green

TPC Four Seasons 18th Green

PGA TOUR
AT&T Byron Nelson
Dates: May 28-31
Venue: TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Irving, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 8-11 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 8-11 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

The PGA Tour is in Texas this week at the TPC Four Seasons for the Byron Nelson. The Byron Nelson is one of the best tournaments all year because it is responsible for the biggest charitable donations of any event, now exceeding $130 million.

The defending champion this week is Brendan Todd. Todd edged Mike Weir by two shots last year to record his first PGA Tour win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, and Brandt Snedeker.

LPGA TOUR
ShopRite LPGA Classic
Dates: May 29-31
Venue: Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club (Bay Course), Galloway, N.J.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 1-3:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-3 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-3 a.m. (Monday replay)

A solid field includes many of the world’s top LPGA starts this week in Galloway, New Jersey.

Stacy Lewis is the defending champion this week, having outlasted Christina Kim by two shots in 2014. The win was Lewis’s 10th on the LPGA Tour.

Headlining the field: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo Joo Kim, Shanshan Feng, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen, Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Brooke Henderson.

NCAA
NCAA Men’s Golf Championships
Dates: June 1-3
Venue: Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Monday, June 1 Final Round, Individual Stroke Play 4-7 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, June 2 Quarterfinals, Match Play 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, June 2 Semifinals, Match Play 3:30-7 p.m. (Live)
Wednesday, June 3 Finals, Match Play 3-7 p.m. (Live)

Weekend Wrap

PGA OF AMERICA
Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: French Lick Resort (Pete Dye Course), French Lick, Ind.

Oddly, the 50-and-over crowd played their second major championship in as many weeks.  Imagine the PGA Tour playing the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship in two weeks.  Odd, yes.

Scotsman Colin Montgomerie has figured out something on the senior circuit he could never figure out on the PGA Tour, how to win a major championship.  The 51-year-old closed with a final round 69 to pull away to a four shot margin of victory and defend his reigning Senior PGA Championship title.  The winner’s check is nearly half a million dollars.

Esteban Toledo threatened, but will take runner-up.

miguelangeljimenezEUROPEAN TOUR
BMW PGA Championship
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: Wentworth Club (West Course), Surrey, United Kingdom

The most interesting man in the world (of golf) does it again.  Miguel Angel Jimenez’s legend grew to even higher levels this week at the BMW PGA Championship.  Jimenez carded his second hole in one in as many weeks.  That feat put him at #1 in most aces on the European Tour for a career, over Senior PGA Championship winner Colin Montgomerie.

The ace however, was not enough to catch the super hot Korean Byeong Hun An, who shot a 7-under 65 to win at Wentworth. Byeong Hun An’s victory was in record fashion. His 21-under par achievement is the most under par in the history of the event.

PGA TOUR
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas

When one does not trust a crucial club in the bag it can make closing off a golf tournament very difficult.  Case in point was Chris Kirk and his driver.  He didn’t want to hit it on the final hole Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.   Despite the change in strategy Kirk still pulled his tee shot into the left rough where he then sent a 155 yard shot over the green.  He would have to get up and down to card a -4 66 and seal the victory.

A decent chip left him at 7-feet for the win.  He managed to drop the putt and avoid entering a playoff with Jason Bohn, Brant Snedeker and Masters champion Jordan Spieth.

Great timing for a victory for Kirk.  The $1.17 million winner’s check will come in handy for the new home he just purchased.

Rory McIlory Launches 3-Wood

Golf is supposed to be fun but even for the #1 player in the world it sometimes is frustrating enough to launch a club in a fury.  At the European Tour’s BMW McIlory launched his 3-wood, literally, after hitting a poor shot with it.

Fortunately this time his club did not end up in a lake like it did at Trump Doral a few weeks ago when he was last seen throwing a club.

The European Tour has specific rules regarding this type of conduct. It will be interesting to see if McIlory is fined. If so, he should be able to afford it.

Weekend Preview

Jesper_ParnevikPGA OF AMERICA
Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: French Lick Resort (Pete Dye Course), French Lick, Ind.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m. -2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2:30-3:30 p.m. (Live)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 3:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Strange week this week on the Champions Tour. This week marks the second week in a row the 50-and-over crowd is playing a major championship. Yes, two majors in two weeks. To add to the oddness the senior circuit also boasts five major championships for 2015, similar to what the LPGA Tour changed to a few years ago.

This week’s defending champion is Colin Montgomerie who beat Tom Watson by four shots last year for his first victory of any kind on the Champions Tour.

Headlining the Field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, John Cook, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Lee Janzen, Rocco Mediate, Jesper Parnevik, Kirk Triplett and Ian Woosnam.

rorymciloryEUROPEAN TOUR
BMW PGA Championship
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: Wentworth Club (West Course), Surrey, United Kingdom

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Friday 5 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 7:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 p.m. (Replay)

The top to players in the world are in action in two different tournaments this week. First, world #1 Rory McIlory is defending his title at the European Tour’s BMW Championship. Further, McIlory looks to win his 3rd tournament in four weeks. Arguably, McIlory is the hottest player in the world right now.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson.

adam_scottPGA TOUR
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 8-11 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 8-11 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

The other in the top two players in the world is in action on the PGA Tour this week at Colonia Country Club. World #2 Jordan Spieth is in the field at the Crown Plaza Invitational in his home state.

Adam Scott is this week’s defending champion. Scott needed three playoff holes to defeat Jason Dufner last year and card his 11th Tour win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed, Ian Poulter, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Rodgers, Daniel Berger, Steve Stricker, Corey Pavin and Kenny Perry.

NCAA
NCAA Women’s Golf Championships
Dates: May 25-27
Venue: Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Monday, May 25 Final Round, Individual Stroke Play 4-7 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 26 Quarterfinals, Match Play 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 26 Semifinals, Match Play 3:30-7 p.m. (Live)
Wednesday, May 27 Finals, Match Play 3-7 p.m. (Live)

Weekend Wrap

mciloryacePGA TOUR
Wells Fargo Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

Following the Masters win by Jordan Spieth, and Spieth’s moving up to #2 in the world rankings, many thought perhaps he should have been ranked the #1 player in the world over Rory McIlory. It would seem that over the last three weeks McIlory has sent a message and reminder to those who questioned his #1 ranking.

A big message.

This week at Quail Hollow Rory McIlory shattered records. His massive driving distance kept him within a 9-iron or less on most of the par-4 holes, despite the course clocking in at a massive 7,500 yards. On Saturday McIlory set a new Qual Hollow course record with a 61, and was eyeballing the elusive 59.

When the final putt was holed on Sunday McIlory had not only broken a course record, but broke the low scoring record for the event at -21. The nearest competitor to McIlory was seven shots back. SEVEN.

Two weeks ago McIlory won the WGC Cadillac Championship.

That’s domination. That’s the #1 golfer in the world. There is no doubt.

CHAMPIONS TOUR
Regions Tradition
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Shoal Creek Golf Club, Shoal Creek, Ala.

Jeff Maggert now has a major championship on the 50-and-over tour after beating Kevin Sutherland in a playoff. Both players finished regulation on 14-under. During the playoff Maggert made par to Sutherland’s bogey on the first hole to claim the title.

This victory marks the second on the Champions Tour for Maggert, the first being his win at the 2014 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

 

EUROPEAN TOUR
Open de España
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Real Club de Golf El Prat, Terrassa, Spain

James Morrison came into the final round of the Open de Espana tied for the lead with Davit Howell.

In windy conditions Morrison’s 69 left the field in the dust, giving the Englishman his 2nd career European Tour victory, this time by four strokes.

LPGA TOUR
Kingsmill Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.

Play has been suspended due to darkness in the Kingsmill Championship.

The tournament will be finished Monday the 18th of May.

Weekend Preview

Jesper_ParnevikCHAMPIONS TOUR
Regions Tradition
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Shoal Creek Golf Club, Shoal Creek, Ala.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 3-5 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 3-5 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-4:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

The Regions Tradition is the first major championship for the 50-and-over tour. And the tour has adopted the five-major season, just like the LPGA did a few years ago.

If that wasn’t odd enough, the Senior PGA Championship is the following week. Two majors in two weeks.

Kenny Perry is the defending champion having finished a stroke ahead of Mark Calcavecchia in the 2014 event.

Headlining the Field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson, Kenny Perry, Jesper Parnevik, Mark O’Meara, Ian Woosnam, John Cook, Tom Lehman, Fred Funk and Joe Durant.

J.B. HolmesPGA TOUR
Wells Fargo Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 3-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 3-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

In the 2014 Wells Fargo Championship J.B. Holmes edged out Jim Furyk by one stroke, securing the big-hitter’s third victory on the PGA Tour.

Viewing this weekend should be fun with world #1 Rory McIlory teeing it up as well as crowd favorites Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson.

miguelangeljimenezEUROPEAN TOUR
Open de España
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Real Club de Golf El Prat, Terrassa, Spain

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday 5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 7:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 7-11:30 a.m. (Live)

Golf’s most interesting man in the world is the defending champion this week at the Open de Espana. Last year he beat Richard Green and Thomas Pieters in a one hole playoff. The win was his 21st on the European Tour.

Headlining the field: Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Tommy Fleetwood, Alexander Levy, Matteo Manassero, Francesco Molinari, Andy Sullivan and Peter Uihlein.

lydiakoLPGA TOUR
Kingsmill Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday 9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 5-7 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 5-7 p.m. (Live)

Lizette Salas is the defending champion. Salas won last years event by four strokes. The victory was her first on the LPGA Tour.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo-Joo Kim, Brittany Lincicome, So Yeon Ryu, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson and Charley Hull.

WEB.COM TOUR
BMW Charity Pro-Am
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Thornblade Club, Greer, S.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay)
Friday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 5-7 a.m. (Monday replay)

Headlining the field: Smylie Kaufman, Bronson Burgoon, Oliver Goss, Ben Curtis, Nick Flanagan, Tommy Gainey, Matthew Goggin, Kelly Kraft, Cameron Wilson and Trey Mullinax.

Weekend Wrap – The Players

TournamentPlayersClub_Sawgrass17thHolePGA Tour
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Ah what a great tournament it was last week at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course and The Players Championship. You win some and you lose some. Most of our players to watch last week either finished far off the lead or missed the cut. That’s why they play the game.

The Players is considered by many as the “5th Major,” and the action was worthy of such a claim. Coming into this week the three biggest storylines of the event were the pairing of Jordan Spieth with Rory McIlory, and the fact that Tiger Woods was in the field. None of those storylines would be relevant. Spieth missed the cut. McIlory finished T8 and Woods finished tied for 69th with only one round under par (the 2nd round at -1). In fact, Woods had to birdie the tough 18th hole to finish under the cut line.

Recently a Sports Illustrated poll ranked Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter as the most overrated players on the PGA Tour. That billboard material apparently didn’t set well with Fowler. On Sunday it appeared that Fowler was too far back to be a factor, but nobody told him. Fowler went six-under-par for the last six holes, including an eagle on the par-5 16th. The last two tough holes, the island 17th and long par-4 18th were birdie-birdie.

The hot finish put Fowler into a 3-way tie for first, putting him in a playoff with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner. The playoff was fantastic. Starting on the par-5 16th it continued for four holes. Fowler finally ended the tournament when he made birdie on the par-3 17th island green, the fourth playoff hole.

Speaking of Garcia, the spaniard was treated poorly by the crowd, who heckled him even during putting.  Shame shame.

Collecting a cool $1.8 million for the victory, it would seem that Rickie Fowler has silenced the critics. Overrated no more.

Next in line for Rickie is a major championship. Don’t count him out. He finished in the top-5 in all four majors in 2014.

 

New Protracer Angles This Weekend at The Players Championship

Golf Channel and “Golf Channel on NBC” this week are showing a completely different angle of their “Protracer” technology on the 17th Island green at TPC Sawgrass Stadium course this week for The Players Championship.  Protracer shows a line indicating the flight of the golf ball and on the island green is a very cool way of looking at the difficult shots the pros are faced with.

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From Golf Channel:

Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC this week are introducing a new application to their use of the popular Protracer technology, which graphically tracts the flight of golf balls in the air.  Typically shown from behind the player, this new Protracer perspective features a view of shots from behind the green and slightly to the side at the famous island green at the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.  Because weather and wind play a major influence on hitting strategies at the hole, the side view demonstrates how players decide on the trajectory of their shots.   Below and attached is a still image taken from Thursday’s telecast on Golf Channel.