Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Simson makes Pinehurst history with eighth North & South Amateur title

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With his victory at the 2016 Senior North & South Amateur, Paul Simson is now the winningest golfer all-time at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Simson has won more championships at Pinehurst than any golfer in history


VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – His scorecard signed and attested, Paul Simson sought to find some shade. He settled into his golf cart, his phone in hand. He needed to make a quick call. Then he had a text or two to send.

All of these actions were done with an ever-widening smile on his face. The moment was almost too much.

After all, he had just done something no one has ever done in the 120-year history of Pinehurst.

Paul Simson won his eighth North & South Amateur championship on Thursday – his sixth North & South Senior Amateur – to become the all-time winningest golfer at Pinehurst.

“Who else in the world can say they have their name on the Pinehurst wall of honor more than anyone else?” Simson said, the smile never leaving. “It’s really cool to have done it just once. To have it more than anybody else is pretty special.”

Over 20 years ago, before he won his first North & South Amateur, Simson couldn’t bring himself to even look at the wall of names of past champions in Pinehurst Resort and Country Club’s famed clubhouse.

Sure, Simson knew all the names, and knew them well. But even for the man who seems to have won every amateur title imaginable, it was the thought of having his name emblazoned in bronze at Pinehurst that sent the chill through him.

“I wouldn’t even go by the wall,” Simson said of that time. “I just wanted my name to go up there so much, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at it.”

Now, it’s up there eight times, twice on the North & South Amateur wall – in 1995 and 1996; Simson is the last man to have won back-to-back North & South championships – and now six times in the Senior North & South – 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and in the 65th playing of the event, in 2016.

With the 1-shot victory over Pinehurst resident Macon Moye, Simson on Thursday eclipsed 7-time North & South Amateur Champion George Dunlap, 7-time Women’s North & South Amateur Champion Estelle Lawson Page, and Carolyn Cudone, who won six Senior Women’s North & Souths and one Women’s North & South Amateur.

“Doing something special in golf is always something you strive for or hope to achieve,” Simson said. “To win a state amateur or a mid-amateur or a senior amateur, but Pinehurst being the premier golf resort in the country, to have your name up there more than anybody else is incredible.”

That says a lot coming from Simson, 65, a legend in amateur golf. He’s won more than 200 titles, and in 2010, he won the British Amateur, the Canadian Amateur and the U.S. Senior Amateur in a span of 55 days. In 2008, Simson played in the U.S. Senior Open, the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst and the U.S. Senior Amateur.

But the possibility of winning for the eighth time at Pinehurst weighed heavily on Simson’s mind.

“I have to admit, I’m surprised I thought about it as much as I did,” he said.

Simson had to close strongly to win the championship, and did so, making birdie on the 16th and 18th holes of Pinehurst No. 5 to rally and claim the victory over Moye, who had eagled 17.

“I didn’t really think about it last night,” said Simson, a Raleigh resident. “But on the drive down here and today while I was playing, I thought about it. And sometimes it was a curse and sometimes it was a motivator.”

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Canada’s Judith Kyrinis won the Senior Women’s North & South Amateur for the second straight year. (Photo by Thomas Tooohey Brown)

Simson wasn’t the only champion on Thursday to defend his title. Canada’s Judith Kyrinis, who won the 58th Senior Women’s North & South Amateur a year ago, fired a tournament-low 69 on Pinehurst No. 1 to win by 10 shots over Amy Ellertson and Marie-Therese Torti to successfully  – and emphatically – defend her championship.

“I’ve had a lot of people over the last year text me and email me when they saw my name in the hallway when they visited Pinehurst,” Kyrinis said. “It really is an honor to have your name up there forever and your picture up for the year. I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled again.”

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Patty Moore won her sixth Putter Boy trophy after winning the Super Senior Women’s North & South Amateur for the third time. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Pinehurst Country Club member Patty Moore won the Super Senior Women’s North & South by a stroke over Beatriz Arenas, winning a coveted Putter Boy trophy for the sixth time. Moore, who won the Senior Women’s North & South three times, has now won three Super Senior titles.

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Don Donatoni won the 2016 Super Senior North & South Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. (Photo by Thomas Toohey Brown)

Don Donatoni, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, shot a 3-under 69 on Pinehurst No. 8 to win the Super Senior North & South Amateur by one shot over Logan Jackson.

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An afternoon watching the Payne Stewart statue

Every day at Pinehurst, you will see people standing and posing with the iconic Payne Stewart statue for a photo.

That was especially true during the week of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. The above video is just one afternoon of observation.

That said, we have some thoughts on this afternoon in particular, from Aug. 3, 2016.

One of our favorite things to do on the video is to click quickly and often just to see what we might catch in the frame (more on this in a second). You’ll see something different every time. That exercise, actually, has led us to the following notes:

  • We love seeing how many kids strike the pose and do it well. None of these kids were alive when Payne won the 1999 U.S. Open, but they know the significance. That’s pretty cool.
  • About 4 seconds in, you can catch a mother taking a selfie with her son in front of the statue.
  • The day started a little wet, but my, what a day it became.


  • At one point, you will see a variety of mascots. One is a french fry. One is a gummy bear. One is a…we don’t know. But it’s at about 18 seconds. Added together, though, and it might be the most interesting photo ever shot at the statue.
  • Also around 18 seconds, you’ll see a girl stand on her tip-toes and extend her right arm to bump fists with Payne. We won’t lie – something about that one gives us chills.
  • It’s incredible to consider the number of different countries that might be represented in this video alone.

Those are just a few notes, and we’d love to hear from you to see what you find. Or, better yet, add your own photo you’ve taken with the statue. They mean everything to us.

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“Dead City” on Pinehurst No. 2

There is a place on Pinehurst No. 2 that legendary caddie Willie McRae calls “Dead City.”

He would know.

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Kids and Pinehurst

For more than a century, Pinehurst has welcomed even the youngest of golfers.

With the playing of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships, we felt it would be a good time to update some of Pinehurst’s most storied vintage photographs. Great thanks to U.S. Kids Golf, photographer John Gessner, and most of all, to the incredible Tufts Archives.

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5-year-old Tommy Morrissey shows how to swing like Jordan, Rory, Bubba, Lefty…and one you just HAVE to see

Chances are you’ve already seen the amazing golf swing of Tommy Morrissey. The 5-year-old has wowed audiences all over the world, has appeared on The Golf Channel and the Ellen DeGeneres Show and given clinics with an anti-bullying message through golf.

As you can see, Tommy is without much of his right arm, but that hasn’t slowed him…AT ALL. He’s impressed golfers of all ages, including meeting and playing with many of the game’s greats, from Tiger Woods to Arnold Palmer, from Phil Mickelson to Gary Player, to Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

With the help of his parents, including his father and coach Joe, Tommy has qualified for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships in Pinehurst this year, and this week we brought him down to the Pinehurst Golf Academy to get a closer look at that wonderful golf swing.

And Tommy did not disappoint. One of the fun things he and his father like to do is to mimic great players’ golf swings. In the video above, you’ll see Tommy’s takes on the swings of Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Fowler, and yes, even Mickelson’s. You don’t want to miss this, and you especially don’t want to miss his last impersonation.

In between those mighty cuts, you’ll see what golf truly is for Tommy and his dad – pure fun. And that’s the best golf tip of all.

Play well, Tommy. We’ll get you on No. 2 soon…

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