Pinehurst Heritage Archive

Michelle Wie’s triumph is one for the ages

By capturing her first major championship at Pinehurst, Michelle Wie emphatically closed Golf’s historic first fortnight

By LEE PACE

Fifteen years ago, Payne Stewart settled over a crucial putt on the par-3 17th hole at Pinehurst No. 2, a U.S. Open championship in the balance. Stewart and Phil Mickelson were tied for the 1999 Open lead through 70 holes, with Mickelson striking his approach on 17 to 6 feet and Stewart nailing his to 4 feet. Mickelson’s putt slid past the hole and Stewart poured his into the heart of the cup, taking a one-shot lead that he preserved with his much-memorialized par on the final hole.

“It was a gimme,” caddie Mike Hicks said of the fateful birdie on 17. “Payne hadn’t missed inside 4 feet all week.”

Now it was Michelle Wie’s turn to make history on the 161-yard hole, her 8-iron nestling down 25 feet above and to the right of the front-left hole location. Wie had just double-bogeyed the 16th hole, letting a seemingly comfortable three-shot lead in the U.S. Women’s Open over Stacy Lewis shrink to a single shot. Lewis was now hitting balls on the practice range in the event of a playoff, and Wie settled into her unique table-top putting stance, where her upper torso is at 90 degrees to her long legs, the better to let her see the correct line from a head position nearer the ground.

If the 6 on 16 was giving her the shakes and sweats, she wasn’t letting on.

“I laughed it off,” she said. “Stuff like that does happen.”

 

… Continue Reading

Leave a comment

The 10 – Actually Make it 11 – Best Moments from the Pinehurst U.S. Opens

USOStories

The U.S. Opens have now come and gone, and with great success. Here are our 11 favorite moments (We couldn’t settle on 10) from major championship golf’s first fortnight. (And if your favorite moment isn’t listed here, feel free to add it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.)

 

… Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Martin Kaymer Belongs With Pinehurst’s Greatest Champions

Martin Kaymer Trophy

Photo by The USGA

BY LEE PACE

The sun was tucking behind some clouds into the western horizon over Pinehurst Sunday evening and casting a soft, golden glow over the proceedings just in front of the 18th green on the No. 2 course. If Martin Kaymer had turned and looked over his right shoulder, through the pine trees he could have seen the steeple of the Village Chapel a few hundred yards away; the chapel clarion was now softly pelting out eight notes at the top of the hour.

USGA President Thomas O’Toole stood at the podium and spoke of the previous champions at Pinehurst—of Ben Hogan and Sam Snead from the sepia-toned era and Payne Stewart and Michael Campbell from the modern epoch—and welcomed the newly anointed U.S. Open champion from Germany to the same heady fraternity.

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis marveled at how Kaymer’s 271 total and eight-stroke victory were forged not only with precise and consistent shots but the planning that went into each of them and the mental fortitude that helped him escape from the few dalliances with trouble he encountered over four days of No. 2.

… Continue Reading

Leave a comment

The History of Pinehurst’s Iconic Putter Boy

Photo by USGA's John Mummert

Photo by USGA’s John Mummert

BY LEE PACE

They’ve stood sentinel over the practice putting greens at Pinehurst for decades. They’ve traveled the world on the shirts and caps of golfers. They’ve lured guests to Pinehurst from the pages of newspapers and magazines for a century. And they’ve been the centerpieces of handsome marks for Pinehurst’s chapters in the U.S. Open.

“The Golf Lad” and his offspring pal, “The Putter Boy,” are certainly among the most famous inanimate figures in the game of golf.

Frank Presbrey, Pinehurst’s first advertising counselor, in the early 1900s created a young boy that appeared in the resort’s early advertising and calendars who was called “The Golf Lad,” “The Golf Boy,” or “The Golf Calendar Lad.” Later he was replaced on the calendars sent annually to hotel guests by photos of Donald Ross playing the Pinehurst golf courses.

… Continue Reading

Leave a comment

ESPN Video: The McRaes – Pinehurst’s First Family

ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi brings us the story of Pinehurst’s First Family.

No, not the Tufts.

The McRaes.

If you cannot view the video, click here.

Leave a comment