Chorus of criticism for Chambers Bay's greens

Golf's world No. 1 Rory McIlroy was left frustrated by the bumpy greens at Chambers Bay after he missed several putts. The Northern Irishman carded a two-over 72 in the opening round of the 115th US Open on Thursday.
Golf's world No. 1 Rory McIlroy was left frustrated by the bumpy greens at Chambers Bay after he missed several putts. The Northern Irishman carded a two-over 72 in the opening round of the 115th US Open on Thursday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

UNIVERSITY PLACE - Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia led a chorus of criticism of the greens after the US Open's first round on Thursday.

World No. 1 McIlroy and eighth-ranked Garcia both described the putting surfaces at Chambers Bay as "too bumpy".

McIlroy said the blotchy fescue-grass greens at Chambers Bay were "not the best that I've ever putted on" after he opened with a two-over 72, missing several putts in the process.

Garcia used Twitter to air his criticism, stating he believed a major championship "deserves better quality green surfaces that we have this week".

"Happy with my even-par round today although it could've been a bit better by the way I played but greens are as bad as they look on TV," wrote the Spaniard despite ending his run of 12 consecutive over-par rounds in the US Open.

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie went one better than Garcia with a 69, but also found fault with the condition of the putting surfaces, while American left-hander Phil Mickelson bemoaned the lack of consistency in pace from hole to hole.

"The green surfaces are very poor, some poorer than others," said Montgomerie.

Former champion Geoff Ogilvy agreed that some of the greens on the links-style layout were "ropey", but took the view that PGA Tour players, in general, had become spoilt and should be able to adapt.

"We've played far bumpier greens at US Opens than this," he said after shooting a 69.

"Pebble Beach is one, in the morning they're great and it all kind of changes in the afternoon when the sun comes out. When (Graeme) McDowell won (the 2010 US Open), they were pretty bumpy too. So it's just par for the course."

Former world No. 1 Greg Norman, part of Fox's broadcast team, also weighed in, suggesting that players make adjustments and stop complaining.

"The putting surfaces aren't perfect, but so be it," he said. "It's the same for every other player in the field."

Meanwhile, Bubba Watson's frustrations on Thursday were picked up by a TV microphone.

"Waiting 30 minutes and this is pathetic professional golf," he said at the par-five 18th.

It was not immediately clear whether "pathetic" referred to his own game, the pace of play, or his opinion of the course.

The two-time Masters champion had endured a long wait for the group ahead to clear the green at the final hole, and proceeded to spray his approach shot far from its intended target. He ended up making par to card a 70.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2015, with the headline 'Chorus of criticism for Chambers Bay's greens'. Print Edition | Subscribe