And now, we’re down to four.
Our Final Fore, if you will. Last week, we opened up the first Pinehurst Madness bracket, because as we stated at the dawn of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, in North Carolina, there are three things we can always argue: Golf, College Basketball and Barbecue.
This, though, is a tournament to decide which Pinehurst Resort golf course is the best. We’ve taken the liberty of seeding the tournament, and we’ve also removed Pinehurst No. 2 from the bracket. We figure after back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2014, it’s a pretty clear winner in its own right.
A few notes about the first round:
- For a week, there was an upset looming, all day, every day. Pinehurst No. 6, as a 5th seed, took an early lead on Pinehurst’s most recently added course to the stable, Pinehurst No. 9. But the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design closed the gap, making it a neck-and-neck race that seemed to change hands every hour. Finally, when polling closed Wednesday night, No. 9, the 4th seed, proved victorious…by 1 single vote.
- Pinehurst No. 3, no matter how beloved by Ben Crenshaw, could never muster a great challenge to Pinehurst No. 7. The same was true for Pinehurst No.1 and Pinehurst No. 5, courses that found themselves up against top seeds Pinehurst No. 4 and No. 8, respectively.
Now, though, it’s time to determine our final.
NOTE: Vote by clicking on the course of your choice. Votes are tallied automatically.
Most agree Tom Fazio elevated a good course to a great one with his work on No. 4. Indeed, it was selected as the co-site of the 2008 U.S. Amateur. Meanwhile, Jack stays alive at the Dance. The area's only Jack Nicklaus Signature Design is Pinehurst No. 9, added to the Pinehurst stable in 2014.
Some feel that No. 8 synthesizes all the elements of the Pinehurst golf experience into one layout better than any of the other courses, and many mid- and higher-handicappers find it the most enjoyable track to play. The Rees Jones monster of Pinehurst No. 7 is considered one of the toughest tracks in the area, and there is history as well: No. 7 was built on the site of a forgotten 9-hole employee course.