US OPEN NOTEBOOK: Course crafter eager for 2015

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comJune 12, 2014 

PINEHURST, N.C. — Robert Trent Jones Jr. walks around Pinehurst No. 2 carrying a bit of personal nostalgia.

This was the last U.S. Open course his famous golf-architect father visited in 1999 before his death a year later.

But once Monday hits, Jones’ attitude will shift to pure excitement and anticipation. His course is up next.

Of course, the course he designed is Chambers Bay in University Place, which will host the 2015 U.S. Open. Considering that is only 12 months away, Jones knows the national championship will arrive sooner than most people realize.

“No greater honor can be paid to someone in my world than … crafting a golf course worthy of a national championship, regardless if it was in the Pacific Northwest or not,” he said.

There is a real twist in new U.S. Open courses within the Jones family.

The last new course to host a U.S. Open was Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota — designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. It was finished in 1962, and eight years later, it hosted the U.S. Open.

Robert Trent Jones Jr. won the bid to construct links-style Chambers Bay for Pierce County. His Palo Alto, California-based architectural team finished the project in 2007. Just like Hazeltine, it will host the U.S. Open eight years later after its completion.

“Am I anxious like … if she (Chambers Bay) was a newborn baby?” said Jones, 74. “No. I have now studied her, and she is a grown teenager. She’s been through one championship (the 2010 U.S. Amateur).

“We are past the troubled point. Now we are into the golf-is-going-to-come-there point, and it is going to be exciting and challenging.”

CHIP SHOTS

For the second consecutive day, Puyallup’s Ryan Moore played nine holes in the afternoon. He finished his preparation by playing the back nine at Pinehurst No. 2 — Nos. 10-18. … Chambers Bay staffers Anthony Shipman, Ryan Young and Brent Zepp were official starters for final practice rounds Wednesday off the first tee. … Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley isn’t at Pinehurst No. 2 this week, but his old caddie, Dave Woosley, is. Woosley, who lives in Charlotte, will be on Vanderbilt golfer Hunter Stewart’s bag. ... Ex-Lakes High School star and former Ohio State All-American Brian Mogg will be on-site starting Monday for the start of the U.S. Women’s Open week. He is a top-100 swing instructor nationally recognized by Golf Digest.

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com @ManyHatsMilles

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