US Open 2015: What to expect at Chambers BayJune, 2015
BMW PGA Championship winner Byeong-Hun An was a semi-finalist in the US Amateur at Chambers Bay in 2010...
Not many people this side of the Atlantic had even heard of Byeong-Hun An when he stormed to victory at Wentworth in the BMW PGA Championship.
His record-breaking score of 21 under par must have seemed to come from nowhere to the casual European Tour armchair fan.
But the South Korean first hit the headlines way back in 2009 as a 17-year-old when he became the youngest winner of the US Amateur – beating Ben Martin 7&6 at Southern Hills Country Club.
So the surprise was more the fact that it took him six years to secure his first victory of note as a professional.
He is also the son of Ahn Jae-Hyung and Jiao Zhimin, both of whom were medalists in table tennis at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
With obvious sporting genes it again shouldn’t have been a surprise that he developed into a successful golfer after moving to America in 2005 and learning his trade at the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida.
Known as Ben An, there was another surprise when he signed with Chubby Chandler’s International Sports Management group in 2011 and chose to ply his trade on the Challenge Tour rather than earning his stripes in the US.
It was a move also made by Peter Uihlein – winner of the US Amateur at Chamber Bay in 2010 (can you see where we going now?)
So after losing out to Uihlein in the semi-finals we caught up with An to ask him what players can expect on the already infamous Chamber Bay track in the 2015 US Open…
“t was five years ago so it has probably changed a bit,” An said.
“But it’s a very linksy golf course with beautiful views of water coming in from the ocean. It’s a very unique golf course.
“The key to playing it well is the second shot to the green.
"It’ll be a really good test for us players and it will be fun to watch for spectators"
“It was very firm when I played it so everything has to land front or short of the green. You have to be really precise to get it to roll up to the flag. Distance control is the key.
“It’s fairly wide. So because It’s not that narrow anyone who hits it long will have an advantage.
“Every hole is really unique so it’s hard to pick out a signature hole.
“The 9th is a good hole, downhill par-3 where it’s hard to see the landing zone. There’s some tough, long par-4s and it’ll be really important to try and make good scores on the two par-5s.
“It’s up top the USGA to how hard they make it so it’s hard to predict a winning score.
“However it is set up, the players just have to play it. I think some of the comments have been a bit silly.
“No one want to play off a sloping tee box but it’ll be a really good test for us players and it will be fun to watch for spectators.”
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