The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay showcased so many positives in the Puget Sound region: natural beauty, friendly and involved people, competitive businesses, delicious food, thriving arts, a championship golf course, and more.
Pierce County owns the 8-year old Chambers Bay links-style golf course, which previously was a sand and gravel mine. In the 115th year of the US Open, a public golf course has hosted the national championship only three times.
The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay experienced many firsts:
- The June 2015 event marked the first time the Open was played in the Pacific Northwest.
- The US Open is the largest event ever held in the South Sound. Approximately 235,000 attended in person with millions more watching on tv and online.
- Over 5,000 people signed up to volunteer for the US Open in record time: just 36 hours. Typically, volunteer sign-ups take several months to fill up.
The Merchandise Pavillion at 41,000 square feet in Spectator Square was the largest merchandise facility. Merchandise sales broke records with over 130,000 transactions. Pre-event sales were the largest with many vendors re-ordering supplies in time for the week’s event.
- USGA allowed mobile devices on the course for the first time, including the US Open mobile app.
- Four golfers topped the leader board on the Open’s final day, a rare occurrence.
- At 21, Jordan Spieth became the youngest player to win the US Open.
- After the championship, all leftover food (70,000 lbs) was donated to a local food bank, Emergency Food Network. This food donation makes a big difference in our community! Thank you to Ridgewells Catering, who also featured local Puget Sound food on the US Open menu. What a great example!
And the championship featured much golf drama! Tiger Woods attracted huge crowds but failed to make the cut. The world’s #1 golfer, Rory McIllroy, stormed back on the final day to pull even for the tournament. Jason Day fainted on the 9th hole, and then came back to tie for the lead heading into championship day. The players competed to the very last stroke of the day, as Dustin Johnson hit the 18th green on his second shot, but could not put for the win or tie. In the previous group, Jordan Spieth birdied for the lead and the eventual win!
I’m proud to have volunteered at the South Sound’s largest event and hope the Open returns to Chambers Bay!