US OPEN: Caddies come a cropper as Bay shows its tricky dimension

European Ryder Cuppers Stephen Gallacher and Henrik Stenson both saw their caddies injured during practice as Chambers Bay’s extensive elevation variations and dry grass caused plenty of footing issues inside and outside the ropes.

US OPEN: Caddies come a cropper as Bay shows its tricky dimension

Gallacher’s caddie Damian Moore was forced out of the US Open ahead of the opening round after spraining his right ankle as he negotiated the sixth hole.

He was treated at the course but after a further assessment early yesterday he felt unable to carry the Scotsman’s bag, forcing Gallacher to turn to local caddie Rick Harris.

Stenson’s caddie Gareth Lord was able to start the tournament alongside his employer despite suffering a wrist injury as he tried to break his fall after slipping on the dried out grass as he walked off the 16th tee.

Lord’s left wrist was strapped as Stenson got his first round under way yesterday.

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Whether the players think Chambers Bay is a wonderful course by the end of the week remains to be seen, with the feeling persisting that their off-the-record views are different from the more positive – or diplomatic – ones given on the record.

“Looking forward to the challenge” has been a common refrain but England’s Andy Sullivan certainly sounds like he means it ahead of his major championship debut.

Sullivan ended 2014 ranked 150th in the world but begins the week 58th thanks to two wins in South Africa in the space of eight weeks earlier this season, not to mention a share of sixth in the Irish Open at Royal County Down and a tie for 13th in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

“It’s a spectacular part of the world, with the bay (Puget Sound) in one direction and the mountains in the other,” Sullivan said.

“But if the scenery is beautiful, the course itself is a bit of a brute. It’s playing very tough and on a lot of holes the pin positions will be irrelevant. You’ve just got to try to aim for the middle of the greens, take two putts and then move on.

Predicting who will win at Chambers Bay is a tough task given that the course only opened in 2007, however, one bookmaker had made Masters champion Jordan Spieth favourite ahead of world number one Rory McIlroy, who comes into the event on the back of successive missed cuts.

More generous odds – although many would say not generous enough – of 70/1 are available on 14-time major winner Tiger Woods. But perhaps the best bet was 7/2 for there to be an 18-hole play-off on Monday.

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