Running Diary: USGA News Conference at Pinehurst [Video]

As expected, several media outlets covered the news conference. Here are links to some of that coverage:

Joedy McCreary of the Associated Press has all bases covered.

John Dell of The Winston-Salem Journal looks at U.S. Opens that will be played with no rough.

Brian Mull of The Wilmington Star-News writes the comparison will be on between the men and women at the 2014 U.S. Opens.

Steve DeVane of The Fayetteville Observer and Chip Alexander of The Raleigh News and Observer look at how the USGA will handle security at the Opens.

Stephen Schramm of The Fayetteville Observer says the countdown has begun in Pinehurst.

Below, Pinehurst offers the most in-depth coverage of the news conference you will find anywhere with it’s running diary of the day:

Today, USGA Executive Director Mike Davis will be joined by U.S. Open Championship Director Reg Jones and Pinehurst Resort and Country Club President Don Padgett II for a news conference to preview the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships at Pinehurst No. 2.

The news conference will begin at 1 p.m. and the Pinehurst Blog will provide a live, running diary of the event. Refresh this page often to get a behind-the-scenes look at the news conference as we report live from Pinehurst.

The stage is set for today's USGA news conference to preview the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst.

The stage is set for today’s USGA news conference to preview the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst.

7 a.m. Already tables, chairs, staging and video are in place for the news conference, which is still six hours away. Media are expected to arrive around noon.

Today's centerpiece at each table.

Today’s centerpiece at each table.

10:37 a.m. While Reg Jones takes a moment to practice – and pantomime – his prepared remarks at the podium in a dimmed St. Andrews Room, the Pinehurst staff works on putting the finishing touches at each table, including a centerpiece that can only be found at Pinehurst.

1 p.m.

Reg Jones: “We just want to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in Boston.”

USGA U.S. Open Championship Director Reg Jones speaks at a news conference previewing the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst. USGA Executive Director Mike Davis (center) and Pinehurst President Don Padgett II (right) look on.

USGA U.S. Open Championship Director Reg Jones speaks at a news conference previewing the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst. USGA Executive Director Mike Davis (center) and Pinehurst President Don Padgett II (right) look on.

“Pinehurst has become the benchmark for our championships.”

“It’s not because it makes things easier for our team inside and outside the ropes. This was not a decision that was financially motivated.”

“2014 is our opportunity to make history. What better place to make history than at Pinehurst.”

“We are treating this as one event.”

“Crowds approaching 50,000 spectators on peak days.”

“In 2005, to me, it was about the crowds. It was about the people.”

2005: 325,000 people, about 100,000 more than last year.

“If Mother Nature really cooperates with us, we could have over 400,000 people in town for the two championships.”

“I’m not sure, looking at our other venues, I’m not sure we could do this anyone else.”

6,500-7K volunteers

“All volunteers positions have been filled. We will continue to take applications for our volunteer list. Of these volunteers, 66 percent are from NC…. Nearly 75 percent of our volunteers signed up for both weeks.”

“416 days left and counting.”

“We look forward to spending a historic two weeks in Pinehurst in June.”’

Don Padgett 1:15 p.m.

“We are honored the USGA would choose us to try a concept like this.”

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis speaks at a news conference previewing the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst.

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis speaks at a news conference previewing the 2014 back-to-back U.S. Opens in Pinehurst.

Mike Davis 1:21 p.m.

“Pinehurst is an incredibly historic place.”

“1999 was a great, great moment in time in golf.”

“It’s the history.”

“It’s the golf course itself. It’s an architectural treat.”

“It grows on you. It gets better every time you see it.”

“I am convinced it gets better every time.”

“Every golf course in the world would be better if it was built on sand.”

“There’s plenty of space here for operations. It’s a very comfortable place to get the kind of numbers Reg was talking about.”

“We get wonderful support, wonderful support from Pinehurst itself. It starts with the owner, Bob Dedman, and it extends to the incredible staff.”

“It’s this intrigue we have to compare the best male golfers in the world with the best female golfers in the world.”

Why not have back-to-back Opens somewhere else? “It was because we couldn’t figure out how to get the roughs right.”

“We can do it at Pinehurst. That’s the one place we could do this back-to-back Open.”

On the Restoration by Coore & Crenshaw: “That was a huge commitment, you could argue it was a huge risk.”

“It’s fair to say they hit an absolute grand slam.”

“I really think Ben and Bill stayed true to what Donald Ross really wanted.”

“This is going to be a different U.S. Open, in terms of just the look.”

“We knew it would be good because Bill and Ben are as good a team as you can have. In some ways these guys are living legends in their ability to design golf courses and in this case, restore the golf courses.”

3rd and 13th new teeing grounds to make potential drivable par-4s for men

“We’ve always had U.S. Open roughs with U.S. Open. In this case, you’ll have a U.S. Open where, when you miss a fairway now, you can have all kinds of different lies.”

You may get on hardpan, you may get on pine needles, you may get on loose sand with footprints in it… That’s unique. They just don’t see that on a week-to-week basis. There’s going to be a level of creativity.”

The U.S. Open Trophy is in Pinehurst, displayed at the USGA's news conference to preview the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in 2014.

The U.S. Open Trophy is in Pinehurst, displayed at the USGA’s news conference to preview the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in 2014.

“It’s about these wonderful, dome-shaped greens, which are firm. You have to control your ball and hit it crisply.”

“The green speeds will be the same for both weeks. 11 ½-12 on stimpmeter is ideal speed for the champ on these greens.”

“The only difference between the men’s and the women’s weeks – the greens will be slightly softer – don’t read into that they’re going to be soft. … The other thing is we want the distance to be relatively the same, too.”

“Our goal is to have the women hitting roughly the same kind of shot into the greens.”

“They do not get enough credit for how good they are.”

Yardage: men: slightly over 7500 par-70 women: 6800 par-70

“We think we have a much better chance getting the golf course, specifically the greens, set up how we want.”

The switching of pars on the 4th and 5th holes:

“We just feel like architecturally, it works better.”

“By playing it as a long par-4 (520-530) we feel it’s a much better drive zone, and Ross designed it as a par-5. We feel like that has the toughest green complex on Pinehurst No. 2 and feel like it would be a really good short par-5… It arguably has the toughest green.”

“Those two holes, you look at it as a par-9.”

Scoring: “If we got pretty dry conditions, on balance, it might be a little bit easier.”

“The biggest difference is that there is just more fairway out there.”

“The real challenge at No. 2 is can you get yourself up on those greens.”

“They play much smaller than they actually are.”

“I think this is going to hold its own quite well.”

“If we get firmness…it will hold its own. It doesn’t need rough. It’s got all the challenges you’d ever want.”

“We will have a walking official with each group. Where there is a question defining is this a bunker, that question will be answered there.”

“You are going to see bunkers less maintained than any bunkers in the history of the U.S. Open.”

“If the players are going to complain the bunkers are not consistent, that’s going to go in one ear and out the other. … It’s a hazard.”

“I really think you’re going to see more buzz with this Women’s Open because they’re going to want to see how they match up with the men.”

“I think in fairness, we want to see how this goes.”

“We think there is a lot more upside to this than downside.”

“We could not ask for a better partner than Pinehurst.”

Don Padgett II and Mike Davis hold the U.S. Open Championship trophy at Pinehurst.

Don Padgett II and Mike Davis hold the U.S. Open Championship trophy at Pinehurst.

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