Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Putter Boy pays his respects

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Home away from home.

If not Pinehurst, where else might the Putter Boy want to spend a part of his centennial year?

St. Andrews, of course.

Legendary golf course designer Donald Ross had his roots at St. Andrews, serving as an apprentice to 4-time Open Championship winner “Old” Tom Morris before coming to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The Ross legend across the country speaks for itself, but his indelible mark has been placed forever on Pinehurst, home to his famed Pinehurst No. 2.

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Putter Boy pays his respects.

Lucy Richards designed the Putter Boy statue in 1912, getting help from Ross. Known then as the “Golf Lad,” the statue was used for a sundial (hence the long club, which was needed for accurate sundial readings), leading to a “Sundial Boy” nickname. Eventually in the 1970s, the “Putter Boy” name caught on.

The Putter Boy has stood as Pinehurst’s undeniable symbol since his inception.

Yet it only seems right that he spend a few days in his home away from home, whether it be at St. Andrews’ Swilcan Bridge or taking a moment to pay homage at “Old” Tom Morris’ resting place.

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PGA Pro National Championship — Black Horse vs. Bayonet

With 312 players in the field, there is not a lot of margin for error at the PGA Professional National Championship in Seaside, Calif.

But while Pinehurst Resort professionals Kelly Mitchum and Todd Camplin have played their way into the top 15 percent of the leaderboard after the first round of play was completed Sunday, to stay there they may have to play their most inspired golf today in Monday’s second round.

Mitchum, Camplin and fellow Pinehurst pro Don Sweeting each began their national championships on the Black Horse course, a 6,904-yard par-72 layout that has been considered by the field to be the easier of the tournament’s two courses.

The 7,082-yard par-72 Bayonet course may not be excessively longer than Black Horse, but it definitely played tougher on Sunday. The Black Horse course played to an average score of 75.6 on Sunday, and five of the top six players, including leader Mike Small, played Black Horse. There were 89 double bogeys made on Sunday at Black Horse, with 10 scores of the dreaded “others” – scores worse than double bogey.

The Bayonet, though, played to an average of 77.0 with a staggering 136 double bogeys and 21 “others.”

The Bayonet’s reputation is certainly sturdy. Brian Gaffney, who played at last week’s U.S. Open at Olympic and shot 4-under 68 at Black Horse on Sunday, said he heard horror stories from none other than PGA Tour winner Jason Dufner.

“(Olympic) was different than anything I have ever touched,” Gaffney told the PGA on Sunday. “ You have to shape everything right to left or left to right. Most courses are just there and don’t force you to have to do something. I thought it would be a relief to come here after Olympic, but I had lunch with Jason Dufner and I told him where I was going and he said if you think Olympic is tough, that place (Bayonet) is impossible.”

Camplin, who qualified for the PGA Championship field a year ago, will get the first taste of Bayonet of the Pinehurst pros with an 8:55 a.m. Pacific tee time after a 1-over 73 on Sunday. Mitchum, who played in the 2005 and 2006 PGA Championships, carded a 3-under 69 to finish the first round in a tie for seventh and will tee off a 2 p.m. Don Sweeting, who shot a 77, will tee off at 2:25 p.m.

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Three Pinehurst pros will play for 2012 PGA Championship berth

PINEHURST — The 45th PGA Professional National Championship will feature three Pinehurst Golf Professionals. Don Sweeting, Todd Camplin, and Kelly Mitchum will compete at the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses at California’s famed Monterey Peninsula, June 24-27, 2012. You can catch the action on the Golf Channel, Sunday, June 24 9:30-11:30 pm, Monday, June 25 3:30-6pm, Tuesday, June 26 4-7pm, and Wednesday’s final round coverage from 4-7pm.

The PGA Professional National Championship is for Golf Club Professionals and Teachers who are members of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. It has been held by the PGA of America since 1968, The PGA Professional National Championship is usually been played in late June, six to seven weeks before the PGA Championship. The Championship presents a 312-player field representing 41 PGA Sections competing at the peak of their games, and with its 20 top finishers earning a berth in the 94th PGA Championship host at Kiawah, S.C.

Camplin, the head golf professional at Pinehurst No. 7, recently competed on the PGA Tour at the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C., and made the field for last year’s PGA Championship in Atlanta after a top-20 finish at the PGA National Championship.

The PGA Championship was originally the leading championship organized by the whole body of professionals, both club and touring, in contrast to the other majors, which are all organized by bodies controlled by golf’s amateur establishment. Since 1968 the PGA Championship has been seen to be run mainly for the benefit of the elite of touring professionals, but unlike the other majors, it continues to reserve places for the club pros.

Note: The PGA site has been updated with tee times here. Also, beginning with play tomorrow, live scoring will be found here. Sweeting will tee off on the first hole of the Black Horse Course at 9:10 a.m. (all times Pacific). Camplin will tee off at 2 p.m. on the first hole of the Black Horse course. Mitchum will tee off at 8:50 a.m. on the 10th tee of the Black Horse course.

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