Danny Sink, the championship coordinator of the U.S. Open tournament that just ended on Sunday, begins to oversee the process of leaving Chambers Bay “in better condition than when we got here.” He also acknowledged a few hiccups but that he had “never been more proud to have worked on a championship.”
The show is over, but the conductor can’t leave.
At least not until everything is put back in place.
That’s the job of Danny Sink, the championship coordinator of the U.S. Open golf championship that ended Sunday at Chambers Bay in University Place.
U.S. Open TV ratings down nationally from previous West Coast event
NEW YORK — With Tiger Woods missing the cut, the U.S. Open’s television viewership for the final round was down 30 percent from the last time the championship was on the West Coast.
The Sunday coverage on Fox averaged 6.7 million viewers. That was down from 9.6 million when the U.S. Open was last played on the West Coast in 2012, which allows for the final holes to be played in prime time in much of the country.
Woods still had an outside chance to contend going into the fourth round that year, though he got off to a slow Sunday start and was never a factor on the last day.
This was the first Open of Fox’s 12-year contract with the USGA to take over coverage from NBC.
The tournament did well in the Seattle-Tacoma market. KCPQ (Channel 13) sports director Aaron Levine tweeted that the U.S. Open had an 11.4 rating and 30 share, and the rating peaked at 18.5 toward the end.
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He was the first person from the USGA to arrive at Chambers Bay, in October 2012, and will be the last one to leave, which he hopes will be sometime in either late August or early September.
After a long week, you might expect Sink to take a day or two off to relax and recharge, but you would be wrong.
“Operationally, the two busiest weeks for us are the week before the tournament and the week after the tournament,” said Sink, who was at work at 6 a.m. Monday and hoped to be done by about 7 or 8 p.m.
In the short term, Sink’s job is to help vendors and the Fox TV crew get their equipment out. After that, it’s about dismantling a few hundred tents and “leaving the property in better condition than when we got here.”
The golf course is scheduled to reopen Friday. Sink’s goal is to reopen the other public-use areas as quickly as possible.
He said he believes the Grandview Trail above the course can open again soon, but it will take longer to get the Soundview Trail reopened because of all the equipment on it. Returning the Central Meadow to its previous condition will be the biggest challenge, because that was where the Spectator Square was located, and it was disturbed the most.
Less than 12 hours after the final putt dropped, Sink already was reflecting on how the championship went.
“I have never been more proud to have worked on a championship,” said Sink, who has been the coordinator for seven of them.
“We had phenomenal community support, and the region really stepped up. I thought we had a great parking-and-transportation plan, and I thought that went great. A lot of people put their trust in us that we would deliver.”
Sink, whose family has fallen in love with the Northwest, said there were a few hiccups that led to adjustments along the way. One adjustment was opening more viewing areas after some complained the championship was not viewer-friendly.
But the biggest criticism came from the players, many of whom complained that the greens were subpar for a U.S. Open.
Although Sink does not oversee what happens inside the ropes, the sharp comments did not escape him.
“It does have an impact on me, and it has an impact on all the people who have worked years on this course to get it ready,” Sink said.
“But look at the final leaderboard. The best players in the world are at the top. I think it was a great test of golf, and a fair test of golf.”
Sink said he thinks when Jordan Spieth tries to win his third consecutive major next month at the British Open, people will look back at Chambers Bay with a greater appreciation.
“It will go down as a great championship,” he said.