Wanted: Man with fescue experience

Dave Wienecke is known as the man in the floppy hat who likes to hide in the weeds at Chambers Bay Golf Course.

But on Thursday, the course superintendent responsible for day-to-day grounds operations at the 2010 U.S. Amateur resigned from his position after nearly six years.

Wienecke, 59, was the first Chambers Bay employee hired by KemperSports Management in July 2006, and was the only superintendent the course in University Place has ever known.

“We are certainly supportive of him and his transition,” Chambers Bay general manager Matt Allen said.

That leaves a gaping personnel hole to fill as the course finishes up its latest round of alterations – all in preparation for the 2015 U.S. Open. Allen noted a hire should be in place by the end of the year.

In the meantime, Josh Lewis, who was hired last December to work under Wienecke, will serve as the interim course superintendent. Lewis is a former employee at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, and most recently was the assistant superintendent at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.

“He’s got the fescue (grass) experience certainly we were looking for,” Allen said. “And he is a known quantity to us. He was a great fit, great choice for the assistant position, and undoubtedly will seek to be a candidate for the head superintendent position. But he will have to compete.”