Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Phil in ’14? Is Mickelson the favorite to win at Pinehurst? Crenshaw, Pelz weigh in

Phil in '14?

Phil in ’14?

Three Down, One To Go For Mickelson


Ben Crenshaw was among the millions captivated by the drama, entertainment and sheer wonder of what was unfolding on his television set early the afternoon on July 21, 2013. Six time zones away on the east coast of Scotland, Phil Mickelson marched the ancient, crusty links at Muirfield Golf Club in five-under 66 to storm from five shots behind and win the British Open going away.

Crenshaw has made golf history himself—winning two Masters and 19 PGA Tour events—and been involved from the periphery in another major story as well, captaining the United States team to victory in the 1999 Ryder Cup Match at Brookline. But watching from his home in Austin, Texas, Crenshaw was sucked into the vortex of the afternoon’s significance.

“Gosh, what a great performance,” Crenshaw says. “It was unbelievable. It was fascinating to watch. Phil made the right decisions and he played very aggressively. That second shot on 17 was one for the ages. He had confidence in that club, essentially it was a brassie, and struck it really well. It hit on the downslope and, man alive, what a great bounce, right to the middle of the green. Then he hit two beautiful shots on 18. He did so many good things. It was a special week for Phil, no question.”

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The Great What-If: Phil Mickelson and the 1999 U.S. Open (with Video)



It was golf theatre unlike anything the grand old course had ever seen, the roars funneling through the pine trees and engulfing the memory of polite applause from the villagers and resort guests when Hogan and Snead, Ward and Patton, Nicklaus and Palmer had passed through earlier in the century.

Payne Stewart stuck his 6-iron tee shot to 4 feet on the par-3 17th hole in the final round of the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Phil Mickelson didn’t flinch, firing his 7-iron to 6 feet. Mike Hicks, Stewart’s caddie, says he’d never heard the kind of noise he heard on 17 that day—“And I’ve worked several Ryder Cups.” NBC’s Roger Maltbie observed on-air, “It’s getting kinda wild out here.” Tiger Woods had to wait to hit his approach on 18 until the applause for Stewart and Mickelson subsided.

“At first I thought I was in a small earthquake,” says Ron Crow, a volunteer scorer who walked with the final pairing on that gray, drizzly afternoon. “The ground shook some because of the reception the gallery gave those two players.”

Stewart had just rammed home a monster putt on the 16th green, an improbable, double-breaking downhiller from 25 feet to protect his tie atop the leaderboard with Mickelson. Stewart and Hicks began surveying Stewart’s putt, and Mickelson and his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, began analyzing Mickelson’s putt.

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Video: Sir Nick Faldo Says Yes to Sand, Previews 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst


Sir Nick Faldo made his second trip in the last 11 months to Pinehurst to participate in a Glenmorangie event, but took a few minutes after his golf clinic to discuss the Coore & Crenshaw restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, which will host back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2014.

Faldo said that PGA Tour players are not accustomed to playing shots out of waste areas with native grasses, but added that he believes players will welcome the myriad options they will have playing out of Pinehurst-style rough.

Faldo also said he could see golf course design mirroring Pinehurst No. 2′s restoration in the future, and reflected on his troubles – and Payne Stewart’s triumph – at the 1999 U.S. Open.

Faldo, the 6-time major champion and Hall-of-Famer? Troubles at No. 2? But why?

Because of Donald Ross – and fear.

And from Sir Nick’s last visit…Storytime at Pinehurst…

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9.11.01 We Will Never Forget

Pinehurst Flag Half Staff

Our thoughts, our hearts, our prayers remain with those we honor and remember today.

We will never forget.

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Impromptu Wedding Bells on Pinehurst No. 2 [Video]

Navy man Steve Gonzalez and his fiancée Wendy Ross originally wanted a small wedding, a quick ceremony, and considered even eloping. But with two large families, that wasn’t going to happen.

Until Pinehurst came in.

Both huge golf fans, Steve and Wendy decided to make a quick trip to Pinehurst a week before the pending nuptials. What Wendy didn’t know was Steve (and his close friend Gary Beaver) decided to go with the original wedding plans with a bit of a twist – exchange vows behind the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2.

And so, in the minutes before their scheduled tee time on Donald Ross’s masterpiece, up walked U.S. Navy Chaplin Thomas Cook. And in less than 15 minutes, with the bride donning a lovely Pinehurst sweater and the groom comfortably wearing his black TaylorMade golf cap, Cook introduced Mr. and Mrs. Steven Gonzalez on a cool September morning in Pinehurst.

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