Last week, USGA executive director Mike Davis warned the players competing in this year’s U.S. Open that extra preparation would be necessary to win at Chambers Bay given its unique and versatile setup, and it appears that at least one marquee player is taking his advice.
Phil Mickelson arrived in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday to get his first look at the course and spent 3 1/2 hours playing and studying the front nine with short-game instructor Dave Pelz and caddie Jim Mackay, according to a recent report by ESPN’s Bob Harig.
Lefty’s early arrival should come as no surprise. He said at the Players Championship a couple of weeks ago that he would be visiting Chambers Bay early to begin learning all of the course’s nooks and crannies, knowledge he hopes to use to help him capture the only major championship that has eluded him for the entirety of his illustrious career despite finishing second a record six times.
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"Glad I spent some time here" he said in a brief interview with a local TV station, "a very interesting course."
Lefty also added that Chambers Bay offers a good opportunity to prime for the year’s remaining majors, as it closely resembles the types of links courses found at St. Andrews for the British Open in July and Whistling Straits for the PGA in August.
The five-time major champion is scheduled to play in next week’s Memorial Tournament and again the following week at the St. Jude Classic before arriving at Chambers Bay with the career grand slam in his sights.