Congratulations to Jordan Spieth for winning the very first British U.S. Open.
Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash., hosted the 115th United States Open last week, but the course’s design, set up and overall appearance didn’t look much like any other national championship the United States Golf Association has staged.
The course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., promotes itself as a “tribute to the ancient linksland of Scotland.” And it is certainly a true links course — there are no trees in play, the rough is merely overgrown fescue, the tees, fairways and greens all merge together without distinction and the tract is nestled against a large body of salt water.
And, as anyone who watched the U.S. Open on Fox would have immediately noticed, it’s not very green.
Of course, Mr. Jones has the right to design a golf course any way he chooses, but the way I see it, the U.S. Open should be the greatest showcase of American golf, not a knockoff of someone else’s.
America won its independence from Great Britain more than 230 years ago, shouldn’t our national championship have its own independent identity too?
Next year, the U.S. Open returns to Oakmont County Club in Pennsylvania, where it has been played eight times before and is one of the best examples of a classic American golf course design. It was established in 1903 and is both on the U.S. Register of Historic Places and considered a U.S. National Landmark.
While Oakmont is still a links-style course, it utilizes the natural, rolling — and strikingly green — landscape of the Allegheny County foothills. The fairways will likely have a clean mowed design, the rough will be devastating yet kempt and the sand traps, well, will look like sand traps.
Now, that being said, the drama that Chambers Bay produced last week in the closing holes of the tournament was more than fitting for a major championship. Spieth’s tremendous approach to the 18th green and two-putt birdie set the stage for a nerve-wracking final hole for the last group.
Dustin Johnson had a look at an eagle from 12 feet that would have sealed his first major and two putts to force a Monday playoff. But his three-putt par made for a heart-breaking finish on what was a captivating final few holes.
The win makes Spieth, the 21-year-old, the sixth player ever to win the first two majors of the year as he won the Masters wire-to-wire back in April. He is also the youngest golfer to do so since Gene Sarazen in 1922 and the youngest U.S. Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923.
In just three short weeks, Spieth will look to become the first golfer to win the first three majors of the year since Ben Hogan did it in 1953 when he takes on the Old Course at St. Andrews in the 144th British Open.
Luckily for him, he’s already won one British Open this year.