Commentary: Chambers Bay now on the tee, an event we can all be proud of

SEATTLE -- We start by officially beginning the one-year countdown to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay – the first in the Pacific Northwest in the event’s 115-year history.
In terms of national scope, attention and notoriety, this is the biggest sporting event this area has seen in the last decade - outside of Monday Night Football or a Seahawks playoff game.
The underdog story of Chambers Bay is well documented and simply fascinating. It’s just the fourth-publicly owned course to host the U.S. Open – and one that opened just seven years ago. The fact that Chambers was even considered, so early on in its lifespan, makes it quite an anomaly among the other courses the USGA normally picks.
Best of all – next year’s U.S. Open will be broadcast on Q13 Fox. As the home of the Open, we’re excited to give you the most extensive local coverage, beginning shortly after the Super Bowl next February.
And that will also include a very unique view, as tonight I officially announce my intention to enter the local qualifying pool for next year’s tournament.
Now, let’s be honest – this is a “Hail Mary” a thousand times less likely than the infamous one Russell Wilson threw at CenturyLink Field two years ago. This year, more than 10,000 golfers around the world attempted to qualify for just 82 spots in the U.S. Open – which gives entrants less than a one percent chance to reach our nation’s championship through local qualifying.
Plus, if I can’t get my official USGA handicap index from a 2.6 to a 1.4 – the standard set for entrants – this experiment will end before it even starts, because I refuse to make a mockery of the process.
In the spirit of full disclosure, my current game is nowhere near qualifying standards. Shooting a two-over 38 on the back nine both days at the Bellevue Amateur Championship last week simply isn’t going to cut it.
But that doesn’t mean we all can’t dream – after all, the folks at Chambers Bay certainly did.
And next June, it’s a dream that becomes reality. A tract of 230-acres, as recently as ten years ago covered with gravel and sand, now formed into a golfer’s paradise, and next year’s home of golf’s biggest championship.
It’s an all-out celebration of golf in the Pacific Northwest. One we should all be proud of.
I’ll be there one way or another – and I hope you all will be there too.