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US Open: Darren Clarke says Chambers Bay course has potential to make us look stupid

By Phil Casey

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is expecting the Chambers Bay course to be one of the biggest challenges of the golfing year.

Clarke is hoping to make an impact in the 2015 US Open, but knows he and everyone else faces a test of their ability and patience on the links style course.

Indeed the popular Ulsterman says the venue for the second major of the year could make the players look 'stupid' over the next four days.

While all of the players have had practice rounds on the course, it remains somewhat of an unknown quantity and with the quickness of the greens, is sure to prove difficult.

Clarke, with his experience, has seen just about it all in his career but there is sense, even for him, this week will bring something new.

He is relishing the challenge.

"One bounce that is a bit too firm and because of the speed of the greens, it rolls maybe 100 yards back off the green. I like it," he said.

"It definitely has the potential to make us look stupid with some of the shots we're going to hit.

"You're going to hit some great shots that aren't going to be rewarded but you may hit one or two that gets a fortuitous bounce and go close.

"Everyone is going to have a few funny ones this week, and it's part and parcel of it."

Tournament officials have admitted they are concerned about the firm conditions, but insist they are not at the point of "losing" the course.

Several players have compared the hard, dry conditions to those which prevailed in the 2013 Open at Muirfield, and Ian Poulter says the pin position on the 18th "needs a windmill and clown face".

USGA executive director Mike Davis said last night: "Given the (weather) forecast, by far the biggest concern that we've got for this championship would be managing the firmness,"

"It is such a great thing to be in this position. You kind of wake up and you dream of this saying, let us control it, don't give us a bunch of water so they're throwing darts at the greens. And we've got it.

"Now it's our job to make sure we manage that firmness appropriately. We want to see a correct amount of firmness but at the same time we're not looking for well-struck balls to hit in the front of the green and bounce the whole way over.

"I don't think we're at that point where we think we're going to lose it."

Prize money for this year's event totals $10million (£6.3m).

Further Reading

US Open: Rory McIlroy hopes to be the story 

US Open: Rickie Fowler targets his fifth major joy 

US Open: Darren Clarke says Chambers Bay course has potential to make us look stupid  

  US Open: Defending golf champ Kaymer makes case for defence

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