The Latest: First hole par 4 today, could be par 5 later


Jordan Spieth putts as a train goes by on the 16th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in University Place, Wash. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the 15th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in University Place, Wash. (AP Photo/Matt York)

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — The latest from the U.S. Open (all times local):

8 a.m.

One of the big questions players had about the U.S. Open this week is how Mike Davis, the USGA executive director responsible for setting up Chambers Bay, would lay out a course with seemingly infinite possibilities.

Davis chose to play the first hole as a 496-yard par-4, rather than a 598-yard par-5. He made the 18th a 604-yard par-5 rather than a 525-yard par-4.

With dozens of tee boxes at his disposal, Davis can play around with the other 16 holes, too. The par-3 ninth can play steeply uphill or with a 100-foot drop to the green.

Oh, and that first hole? Only two players birdied it during stroke play at the U.S. Amateur in 2010. Bubba Watson made double bogey there to start his championship Thursday.

7:15 a.m.

With calm breezes blowing off the Puget Sound, the U.S. Open began Thursday when Michael Putnam teed off at Chambers Bay south of Seattle.

It won’t take long before the big names get going.

Perennial bridesmaid Phil Mickelson, with another chance to finish a career grand slam, is in the fourth group with Bubba Watson and Angel Cabrera. A short while later, Rory McIlroy begins his round on the back nine in a group that includes defending champion Martin Kaymer.

Tigers Woods, Masters champ Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day are among those who will start in the afternoon, when the tournament goes to prime time on new broadcaster Fox.