Pinehurst 2014 U.S. Opens Archive

The theme of U.S. Open Media Day? This one’s different

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Bill Coore addresses a throng of reporters opn U.S. Open Media Day on the first tee of the restored Pinehurst No. 2, site of back-to-back U.S. Opens in June.

By Lee Pace

Some 200 media members, USGA officials and Pinehurst staff members gathered in the St. Andrews Room at the Pinehurst Resort Clubhouse on Monday to look ahead seven weeks to the unprecedented running of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open on consecutive weeks, the venue being the renowned No. 2 course.

The thread running throughout: There is going to be a different taste, feel and flavor of Open championships in June 2014.

  • The prospects for the third Open to be held on No. 2 following Payne Stewart’s win in 1999 and Michael Campbell’s victory in 2005 were discussed. “I think one of the older players, a guy with some maturity who can let the bad breaks roll off his back might have a good chance,” said Bill Coore, who along with partner Ben Crenshaw restored the course in 2010-12. “Patience will be a very important quality to have the week of the Open.”
  • The logistics of ending the men’s competition on Sunday June 15, perhaps staging an 18-hole playoff on Monday and then transitioning into the Women’s Open week were addressed. Ben Kimball, the USGA official in charge of the Women’s Open, said that a playoff in the men’s championship would begin at Noon local time on Monday and the course would be open for practice rounds for the ladies at 6:45 a.m. “A Monday playoff will set up the possibility of the men’s and women’s competitors hitting balls side by side, which will only add to the excitement of this event,” Kimball said. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens come this June.”

 

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Talking Pinehurst…on the 12th green at The Masters


It’s amazing where – and when – Pinehurst comes up in conversation.

“You know, I have the funniest story,” Bubba Watson revealed today on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive in an interview with Tim Rosaforte. “I have to share this story.”

Settle in, y’all. This one is SO GOOD.

After a masterful putt from off the back of the treacherous 12th green during the final round of The Masters on Sunday, Bubba Watson and his caddie Ted Scott had an interesting conversation after Bubba marked his ball 2 feet from the cup.

With a second green jacket still hanging in the balance, Scott didn’t have the slippery par putt on his mind.

No, he was thinking ahead.

Way ahead.

To Pinehurst.

Watson relayed the whole story Morning Drive (go to 9:15 in the video above). After the great play – Bubba took Scott’s advice and chose to try putting the ball rather than risk a bladed chip shot (“I usually go opposite of what he does,” Bubba says.) – Scott couldn’t help himself.

“Pinehurst is coming up, and you’re going to have to putt so much at Pinehurst because of the greens and how they roll off,” Scott told Bubba as the two were still just two shots up with six to play. “You’re the best at putting from the (fringe). Your short game, you’re really good around the greens. You have a great shot at winning that.”

“He was talking about Pinehurst, how I’m going to have putt around the greens, at no. 12, trying to win The Masters.” – Bubba Watson

Pinehurst No. 2, the site of the U.S. Open in 1999 and 2005, will host the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open Championships in consecutive weeks in June. Scott, who was on Olin Browne’s bag at the 2005 Open when Browne made a serious run at the championship, knows a thing or two about Donald Ross’s legendary turtleback greens. Often, players will choose to putt from the closely mown fringe areas, even when the ball settles several feet below the putting surface.

It was a good lesson for Bubba as he begins his preparation for the second major championship of the year. Of course, it may have come a tad early, something even Scott quickly realized.

“But let’s not get carried away,” Scott told Bubba, still on the 12th green, moments after his gushing praise. “Let’s stay in the moment here.”

It was a moment they could laugh about later – at Waffle House.

“That was our moment,” Bubba says. “At Waffle House, we laughed about it forever…He was talking about Pinehurst, how I’m going to have putt around the greens, at no. 12, trying to win The Masters.”

 

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We’re Next

Congrats to Bubba Watson, who’s been looking forward to the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst for some time.

And so as the Masters concludes, Pinehurst approaches history – again.

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Ben Crenshaw says 2015 Masters will be his last

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(Photo by John Gessner.)

Two-time Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw revealed Saturday morning on The Golf Channel that the 2015 Masters will be his last championship.

2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of his emotional 1995 Masters triumph. Crenshaw, who will be among those at center stage during the unprecedented back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in June, also won the Masters in 1984.

It seems Gentle Ben had arrived at the decision, and then chose a special spot to tell his longtime caddie.

“I made the decision that next year is my last year,” Crenshaw said. “It is funny, on Amen Corner on the 13th hole on the first day, I hadn’t told Carl yet, but I said, ‘Carl, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and next year would be a good year.’ I’m very, very happy with it. I’ve thought about it for a long time. A lot of times I thought that I could have stepped down earlier. It is hard. Very hard. But I have been so fortunate. I have to look at the good things that have happened. I have to pull over and watch. I’m very resigned to being an encourager for everybody as much as I can.”

Crenshaw, 62, and design partner Bill Coore led the Pinehurst No. 2 restoration in advance of 2014 Opens, which will be contested in consecutive weeks for the first time in history. Crenshaw has played in every Masters since 1972, finishing among the top 10 nine times in addition to his two victories. Next year will tie Crenshaw with Sam Snead for 7th most Masters appearances.

 

 

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Yes, Pinehurst is giving away U.S. Open tickets…

UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER!

It was an incredible week, with more than 6,500 total entries, and more than 5,000 entries into the U.S. Open tickets giveaway contest alone. We can’t thank all of you enough for engaging with us. We hope to have more giveaways very soon!

As for winners for the weekly prizes:

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