Pinehurst Interviews Archive

[VIDEO]: Roy Williams talks golf, Dean Smith, Michael Jordan – and timeouts

Roy Williams, the Hall of Fame basketball coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels who has led UNC to two national championships, visited Pinehurst recently and took a few moments to explain how basketball and golf can be intertwined.

Not only that, Williams chatted about rounds at Pinehurst with Dean Smith – including his favorite Dean Smith golf story – what it’s like to play a round of golf with Michael Jordan and revealed to us the best golfer among his former Tar Heels (not necessarily His Airness).

Lastly, we got a little more basketball in there as well, with Williams explaining just what it takes for him to break down and burn a timeout.

(Hint: A lot. As Roy says, “If I get to go to Heaven and there’s a blessing for timeouts, I’m going to be the favorite son up there.”)

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[Video] Richard Petty talks golf – yes, golf – at Pinehurst

NASCAR Hall of Famer and North Carolina legend Richard Petty visited Pinehurst Resort on Thursday as part of a Carolina Wireless Association benefit golf tournament for the Victory Junction, which is a year-round camping facility that serves children, ages 6-to-16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

“The King,” who won seven Cup championships, seven Daytona 500s and 200 races, took a moment to chat with Pinehurst about golf – yes, golf – before comparing his era to the NASCAR of today.

Naturally, Petty may have saved his best quote for off camera:

“I never got into golf. I was too busy going ’round and ’round in circles.”

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VIDEO: Natalie Gulbis Excited for Back-to-Back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst

LPGA Tour star Natalie Gulbis talks to Pinehurst Resort and previews the back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in 2014.

“It’s going to be great for golf, great for us, and especially great for all those fans.”

Gulbis is excited about the USGA’s unique decision to have Pinehurst host back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2014, and after closing the interview, said off camera: “It’s only 13 months? Wow, that’s coming up fast. Can’t wait, though.”

Gulbis and the other 95 of the top 100 ranked players in the world – including Paula Creamer, who’s also looking forward to the Open on Pinehurst No. 2 – are playing the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.

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VIDEO: Paula Creamer previews the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open in Pinehurst

U.S. Open Champion Paula Creamer joins Pinehurst to preview the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, to be played in back-to-back weeks with the men’s U.S. Open on famed Pinehurst No. 2.

Creamer spoke to Pinehurst during Tuesday’s practice round at the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.

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Live from the LPGA Tour – Kingsmill Championship

For the next two days, the Pinehurst Blog will be coming to you live from the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship, where last year Jiyai Shin needed nine playoff holes (NINE!) to clip Paula Creamer in easily the most exciting finish on the LPGA Tour a year ago.

We’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at one of the LPGA Tour’s best tournaments of the season, where all 10 of the LPGA’s Top 10 players in the world are entered into the field. Outside the top 10? Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie, Se Ri Pak, Laura Davies, Juli Inkster – they’re all here, too.

Also here are, heretofore affectionately known (at least to us), the Pinehurst 6. All six players on Tour who are previous North and South Women’s Amateur champions – Austin Ernst (2012), Danielle Kang (2011, Alison Walshe (2007), Tseng (2005), Pressel (04) and Brittany Lang (2003).

Any requests? Leave us a comment below and we’ll try to get to it. Let’s head to the tee.


9:58 a.m. One of the very cool things to see when you hang around the practice green: the number of players’ caddies who walk up to the previous week’s winning caddie – in this case the looper for World No. 1 Inbee Park – to congratulate him. They’ve been doing that a lot lately.

Paula Creamer arrives at the Kingsmill's practice green, much to the delight of the fans.

Paula Creamer arrives at the Kingsmill’s practice green, much to the delight of the fans.

10:15 Paula Creamer arrives to the practice green. Fans had been lining up in the area as soon as her bag appeared in the area – some 20 minutes before she arrived.

Morgan Pressel tees off on the 10th at the Kingsmill's River Course. This shot brought a loud sigh - and a re-tee.

Morgan Pressel tees off on the 10th at the Kingsmill’s River Course. This shot brought a loud sigh – and a re-tee.

10:32 As Creamer walks out, Morgan Pressel walks right on by, signing a few autographs for those who recognize her, as she heads from the 9th green to the 10th tee.

Lexi Thompson takes some time to visit with a young fan.

Lexi Thompson takes some time to visit with a young fan.

11 a.m.

THIS is what the LPGA Tour is selling. Their motto: “See why it’s DIFFERENT out here.” Lexi Thompson took a few minutes to hang out with a young fan.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. A few notes after spending four hours on the range:

  • Creamer wasn’t scheduled to play a practice round until later this afternoon, but put in a full day’s work. She spent nearly two hours on the putting green, and then another two hours on the range. She’s methodical with her routine, taking time in between shots, but she was here to work. She’s a bona fide star in golf, and much of it appears to be well-earned.
  • Also, Creamer usually has anywhere from 4-5 people around her at all times. She’s accessible to media and fans, but one thing is clear on the LPGA Tour – there are THE stars, and there’s a lot of everybody else.
  • Michelle Wie is striking in person, and on the range Tuesday, worked through one of the more unusual practice routines. After working through her bag, Wie interchanged clubs with each shot, going from wedge to driver to long iron to fairway wood, or some combination of that. Seemed odd. And no one has as exaggerated a follow-through as Wie.
  • Christina Kim is as hilarious on the range as she is on Twitter. Full force of personality. She’s fun to watch just practicing and interacting with players, caddies, volunteers and fans. You can’t help but root for her.
  • In the four hours watching players come, hit and go on the range, no one – NO ONE – had as much power as five-time major champion Yani Tseng. Just a wow factor watching her hit balls. The sound off the club, her rocket-high ball flight and strength was unmatched. And it wasn’t close.
  • Karrie Webb is a machine. Not saying that in a bad way. Just a gorgeous, tight, fluid – and repeatable – swing. No wonder she won seven majors – including two U.S. Opens – and is in the Hall of Fame.
  • Wie spent a lot of time on her phone. She has the Instagram account to prove it.
  • Coming soon – video interviews with Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb and Juli Inkster. Only 15 combined majors and five combined U.S. Open Championships there.
  • Just because you’re too polite to ask…no sign of Natalie Gulbis…yet.

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