While plans continue to develop on how the back-to-back national championships will be displayed in Pinehurst’s venerable Clubhouse hallway, the first indications of the triumphant two weeks were visible on Thursday, Aug. 14, when the nameplates honoring Pinehurst’s two most recent champions – Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie – were installed in the trophy case.
Pinehurst 2014 U.S. Opens Archive
OK, look, we’ll admit this off the top – there’s not a whole lot of action in this video.
But we still think it’s pretty cool.
This is from our cutting room floor, if you will. Back on Monday, June 2 – a week before the first practice round at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler – bros til the end – played a casual pre-championship practice round together. Only about 30 people were around since No. 2 was closed. No media was there.
At the 18th green, after playing their approach shots, and after carefully studying the famed green Payne Stewart made his own, Phil motioned for Rickie to come over to the side in front of the massive grandstand.
Clearly, they had a game going. Likely, that game wasn’t free.
But while there isn’t much action here, it’s still kind of fun to look back on, especially considering the year Fowler has had, the U.S. Open performance he gave at Pinehurst, and the fact that he and Lefty are playing together in the final round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla.
“Of all the golf centers in the world, there is perhaps only one that comes close to sharing the ideas and aspirations of St. Andrews – ‘Pinehurst.’”
Links Trust, 1998
Ahead of the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens, Pinehurst further solidified its relationship with the Old Course at St. Andrews with the dedication of the No. 2 Starter’s Box, built to resemble the longtime starter’s box that once stood at the first tee on Old Course.
But while it’s one thing for Pinehurst to say it enjoys ties to St. Andrews, it’s another for St. Andrews to reaffirm that relationship. And upon seeing the new No. 2 starter’s box before a round at the U.S. Open, that’s exactly what St. Andrews Links Trust Chief Executive Euan Loudon did in the video above.
And for us, that feels pretty special.
Here is a sampling of some of the best photos from the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Photo credit for each photo is The USGA. Tremendous work.
By capturing her first major championship at Pinehurst, Michelle Wie emphatically closed Golf’s historic first fortnight
Fifteen years ago, Payne Stewart settled over a crucial putt on the par-3 17th hole at Pinehurst No. 2, a U.S. Open championship in the balance. Stewart and Phil Mickelson were tied for the 1999 Open lead through 70 holes, with Mickelson striking his approach on 17 to 6 feet and Stewart nailing his to 4 feet. Mickelson’s putt slid past the hole and Stewart poured his into the heart of the cup, taking a one-shot lead that he preserved with his much-memorialized par on the final hole.
“It was a gimme,” caddie Mike Hicks said of the fateful birdie on 17. “Payne hadn’t missed inside 4 feet all week.”
Now it was Michelle Wie’s turn to make history on the 161-yard hole, her 8-iron nestling down 25 feet above and to the right of the front-left hole location. Wie had just double-bogeyed the 16th hole, letting a seemingly comfortable three-shot lead in the U.S. Women’s Open over Stacy Lewis shrink to a single shot. Lewis was now hitting balls on the practice range in the event of a playoff, and Wie settled into her unique table-top putting stance, where her upper torso is at 90 degrees to her long legs, the better to let her see the correct line from a head position nearer the ground.
If the 6 on 16 was giving her the shakes and sweats, she wasn’t letting on.
“I laughed it off,” she said. “Stuff like that does happen.”