Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Rain – and Research – on Pinehurst No. 2

Pinehurst Director of GCM Bob Farren (second from left), is flanked on Pinehurst No. 2 by No. 2 Assistant Superintendent John Jeffreys (far left), No. 2 Assistant Superintendent Alan Owen (second from right) and No. 2 Superintendent Kevin Robinson (far right). (Photo by John Gessner)

Pinehurst Director of GCM Bob Farren (second from left), is flanked by No. 2 Assistant Superintendent John Jeffreys (far left), No. 2 Assistant Superintendent Alan Owen (second from right) and No. 2 Superintendent Kevin Robinson (far right). (Photo by John Gessner)

A cool thing happened at Pinehurst today.

It rained.

Granted, this aside, we don’t ever want to highlight a moment when Pinehurst isn’t about Carolina blue skies, brilliant sunshine and glistening green grass. But a pouring rain shower in the middle of the day on May 15, 2014, proved to be very interesting in and around Pinehurst No. 2.

Especially when it’s exactly 4 weeks from the first round of back-to-back U.S. Opens.

And so as the rain poured Thursday – and poured and poured and poured – Pinehurst Director of Grounds and Golf Course Management Bob Farren readied the troops.

… Continue Reading

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Michael Campbell will not return to Pinehurst

2005 Golf: 105 US Open - Final Round

Michael Campbell kisses the trophy after winning 105th US Open finishing even par and two strokes ahead of Tiger Woods. (Photo By Bob Donnan)

Michael Campbell, who stunned the world when he emerged from sectional qualifying to hold off a furious charge by Tiger Woods and win the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, will not return to No. 2 to defend his title in June.

The news was first reported by The Raleigh News and Observer’s Luke DeCock.

Campbell, who has battled significant ankle problems, revealed on his website,, that personal problems will also keep him from the golf course:

I have had some problems with a tendon in my left ankle that stopped me from playing for 2 to 3 months. The good news is that I am back swinging and now managing to play 18 holes.
On a personal note, I have some sad news. Unfortunately Julie and I have separated. Our children remain our number one focus as we move forwards – as parents first and foremost while remaining both friends and business partners.
As I do not feel that I am either fully physically or mentally ready to play tournament golf at the highest level, after much deliberation, I have decided not to play in the BMW PGA Championship, the US Open or the events in between. I want to get back to my best and I believe this is the best strategy to achieve this.


2005 Golf: 105 US Open, Final Round

Michael Campbell reacts after winning the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. (Photo By Bob Donnan)

Campbell shocked everyone when he broke through at Pinehurst.

Casual fans outside the ropes and in the grandstands may have hoped for a different outcome at the time – and may still. It’s likely they felt Campbell had come out of nowhere. If it couldn’t have been Tiger, at least it might’ve been Retief Goosen, who seemed destined following Saturday’s third round to enjoy a coronation walk to his third U.S. Open championship.

Or perhaps Jason Gore, Tin Cup in the flesh, would prevail.

Alas, it was Campbell, some may have thought. Never mind the Kiwi had already won six times in his career on the European Tour, contended 10 years earlier in the British Open and later in 2005 would win the HSBC World Match Play Championship, a tournament Ernie Els has won three times since 2003, and credits Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey among its champions.

But Campbell’s career has indeed slumped since ’05, despite flickers of a resurgence with two Top 10s and two other Top 25s in 2013.

Still, Campbell has played in every U.S. Open since, albeit only making the cut in 2007. At Merion a year ago, he was eagerly anticipating a return to the site of the greatest week of his career. (Our interview with Campbell is below.)

“It changed my world (winning at Pinehurst) – for the good, of course,” he told us. “Next year, for me, personally, will be a huge week. I’m looking forward to it.”


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Phil Mickelson wants to teach you a trick shot

A few things about this video:

  1. Phil Mickelson says this is a trick you that you – YOU! – can do. EASILY.
  2. I’m not sure I believe that.
  3. He also says “Let’s have some fun with our short game.”
  4. I’ve never had fun with my short game.
  5. This was found on YouTube using the search terms “worst golf trick shot.”
  6. The YouTube search engine clearly doesn’t work well.
  7. Because this is insane.


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Our 2 Favorite Moments With Lydia Ko

It is not our place to openly root for certain players, and so we don’t do that.

But look, we’re also human.

So when we got the opportunity to interview phenom Lydia Ko this week after she finished three days of preparation for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on Pinehurst No. 2, we couldn’t help but become enamored with the poised and infectious 17-year-old who seems on the precipice of taking over women’s golf - and perhaps even more.

As we look back on our interview, two moments stood out for us:



1. “This…This…whatever this is.”

How great is Ko’s laugh? Even better, how great is her ability to laugh at herself and not feel embarrassed over not knowing what to call the wire grass? (For the record, Hunter Mahan didn’t know what to call it, either.) If you’re not immediately a fan of Ko after these 15 seconds, you may never be.



2.”Hopefully I’ll get some autographs.”

She’s been named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential, has won three times on the LPGA Tour already and until last week, had ascended to the No. 2 ranking in the world.

But she is still 17, and in the clip above, she’s sure enough of herself to show it. She’s looking for autographs, just like any other kid. (Her access, though, will be much, MUCH better than most autograph hounds.)

What’s great to see and hear is how Ko can navigate from elite major championship contender to a regular teenager in the matter of a single sentence or thought.

For example, a few seconds before this clip, she spoke about the back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst, and the chance she’ll get to watch the men play first and scout a little. “I’ll be able to see, ‘Oh, maybe I shouldn’t end up there or I should go there.” Veteran savvy, there.

But a few seconds before that, she tells us, “I’ve actually never watched a men’s (pro) tour event before…and actually be on the other side of the ropes.”

Honest, forthcoming, sincere, confident and yet humble.

Novel idea, right?

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VIDEO: Phenom Lydia Ko previews U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst

Lydia Ko is perhaps the biggest name in women’s golf today, and has quickly emerged as one of the key figures in all of golf. Just 17 years old, Ko was recently included on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list (the profile was written by none other than Annika Sorenstam) and has ranked as high as No. 2 in the world.

Barely 40 days before the U.S. Women’s Open, Ko spent three days and three rounds of golf on Pinehurst No. 2 to prepare for her third Open appearance – and first as a significant favorite. She chats about No. 2’s famed turtleback greens, and the prospect of attending a men’s professional tournament for the first time – the weekend of the U.S. Open Championship, one week before the Women’s Open.

“Hopefully I’ll get some autographs,” she says, earnestly.

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