While plans continue to develop on how the back-to-back national championships will be displayed in Pinehurst’s venerable Clubhouse hallway, the first indications of the triumphant two weeks were visible on Thursday, Aug. 14, when the nameplates honoring Pinehurst’s two most recent champions – Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie – were installed in the trophy case.
Chances are you’ve seen this video before – it has more than 4 million views on YouTube and was part of a commercial.
But it’s worth calling back to it for two things:
- The Martin Kaymer line, which, obviously, means a little more to us at Pinehurst now than it did a year ago.
- The only thing that might be able to beat Rory right now is a robot. And even then, Rory held his own.
And OK, one more thing – are there words to express just how likable Rory is in this? For a behind-the-scenes look at how the shoot was conducted, go here (it’s worth your time), where you’ll find that Rory went into the skills competition pretty blind, and had no idea the mouth the robot had on it. And yet he ran with it.
From that linked article:(Director Kelvin) Hutchins shot the commercial with expediency in mind, not quite telling McIlroy what was going to unfold on the range. So when Rory shows up, every reaction is genuine. “All Rory knew when he showed up that he was going to be involved in a skills challenge, with washing machines, against a robot,” Parente said. What? Did you think Rory can act? “Everything else was literally his reaction as it happened.”
And the final shot? Man, the kid is good.
Here’s Rory, after his first look at Pinehurst No. 2:
It’s been another two weeks, so it’s time again to provide an update on how the Bermuda grass continues to thrive on Pinehurst No. 2’s greens.
And after a few inches of rain over the last few weeks, “thrive” is the right word.
— Bill Michaels (@Bill_Michaels) August 11, 2014
As you can see from @Bill_Michaels, this photo was POSTED at 8:24 p.m., which means it had to be snapped a few minutes before that.
And yet, Rory was still able to do this:
OK, look, we’ll admit this off the top – there’s not a whole lot of action in this video.
But we still think it’s pretty cool.
This is from our cutting room floor, if you will. Back on Monday, June 2 – a week before the first practice round at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler – bros til the end – played a casual pre-championship practice round together. Only about 30 people were around since No. 2 was closed. No media was there.
At the 18th green, after playing their approach shots, and after carefully studying the famed green Payne Stewart made his own, Phil motioned for Rickie to come over to the side in front of the massive grandstand.
Clearly, they had a game going. Likely, that game wasn’t free.
But while there isn’t much action here, it’s still kind of fun to look back on, especially considering the year Fowler has had, the U.S. Open performance he gave at Pinehurst, and the fact that he and Lefty are playing together in the final round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla.