Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Meet the 2016 Donald Ross Junior Champions

Nearly 300 junior boys and girls from 24 different states and three countries competed in the 69th annual Donald Ross Junior Championship this week at Pinehurst.

AJ Beechler 15-18 Cropped

AJ Beechler

AJ Beechler of Pinehurst took home the title in the boys 15-18 division, which was held on Pinehurst Nos. 4 & 5. With two consistent rounds of 70, he edged out first round leader Jack Parrott of Columbia, South Carolina by two shots. Beechler’s eight birdies were bested only by third place finisher Attie Giles of Pinehurst, who posted nine birdies throughout the two-day tournament. Grayson Wotnosky of Wake Forest tied for third place with a score of 143, while Connor Armistead of Charlotte rounded out the top five.

Jackson Van Paris Cropped

Jackson Van Paris

Another Pinehurst native claimed the first place title in the boys 12-14 division, played on Pinehurst No. 1. Jackson Van Paris defeated Ben Warian of Stillwater, Minnesota in a sudden death playoff after tying at 141 following two rounds. A bogey five on the first playoff hole was all Van Paris needed for the victory. Nicholas Hance of Irving, Texas, Drew Miller of Arlington, Tennessee and Narayan Mohan of Charlotte tied for third place, posting 36-hole totals of 142.

Kareem Elkaseem Cropped

Kareem Elkassem

Kareem Elkassem of Raleigh claimed the top prize in the boys 11 & under division, played on Pinehurst No. 1. After finishing as runner-up last year, Elkassem was determined to take home a coveted Putter Boy trophy. He did just that, besting Sihan Sandhu of Ashburn, Virginia through two playoff holes. Sandhu’s second round 69 was the lowest score for the division. Jackson Herrington of Franklin, Tennessee took home third place prize while Greenville, South Carolina native William Jennings claimed fourth place. David Oliver IV of Pageland, South Carolina rounded out the top five.

Gracyn Burgess 15-18 Cropped

Gracyn Burgess

Nineteen girls were part of Pinehurst history as they competed in the inaugural Donald Ross Junior girls field. Gracyn Burgess of Lexington, South Carolina took home the girls 15-18 title, narrowly defeating Kathryn Carson of Mooresville. Burgess entered the final two holes with a five stroke lead and played them at +4 to earn her title. Belmont native Taylor Hinson finished third.

Emma Shen 12-14 Cropped

Emma Shen

Amelia Shen 11&U Cropped

Amelia Shen

Sisters Amelia and Emma Shen of Tenfly, New Jersey were both victorious in their respective divisions. Amelia topped the 11 & under field while sister Emma led the 12-14 division. Boonyanant Rujiranan of Southern Pines was the runner-up in the 11 & under field while Addison Klonowski of Naples, Florida finished third. Rounding out the 12-14 division was Katharina Floyd of Chapel Hill and Mara Hirtle of Pinehust who finished second and third, respectively.

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The best trick shot you’ll see for the rest of 2016

After seeing this first on Geoff Shackelford’s site, we’re pretty confident in this post’s title, even if there are still nine days left. See if you agree after watching this (also, watch it with the sound on):

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A different kind of water hazard…

It’s been awfully cold around much of the country this week. But many golfers are diehards, and this guy decided to treat this water hazard a little differently – with disastrous results.

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Bones’ greatest regret? His read on the 17th at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999

Jim “Bones” Mackay, in all the years and tournaments and major championships caddying for Phil Mickelson, has one single regret – and it comes from Pinehurst.

In the latest edition of No Laying Up’s tremendous series of podcasts, when Chris Solomon asks Bones whether he has any regrets, Bones doesn’t hesitate.

“Definitely – ’99 U.S. Open against Payne Stewart.”

Beginning at around 42 minutes, 15 seconds above, Bones reflects on Payne Stewart’s incredible birdie putt to save par on 16, and the remarkable tee shots both Payne and Lefty hit on 17.

But Lefty’s birdie try slid right and missed, and after Stewart’s birdie on 17, the one-stroke lead Payne took to 18 proved fateful. (You can see all of that in the video below).

Bones says he misread Lefty’s birdie attempt.

“I thought it was a straight putt,” Bones says.

“It was such an amazing day at that golf course. Such a great golf course and we started having this really awesome weather. It started misting. It was almost like they were playing in Scotland.” -Jim “Bones” Mackay, Phil Mickelson’s caddie

“There’s no question, by 100 miles, if I could change one thing over the course of my caddie career, in terms of input that I gave Phil, it would be that.”

Still, Bones recalls the day fondly, and the duel between Mickelson and Stewart.

“It was such an amazing day at that golf course. Such a great golf course and we started having this really awesome weather. It started misting. It was almost like they were playing in Scotland.”

If you love golf, the entire podcast is worth a listen. Don’t miss No Laying Up’s extremely candid conversations with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, either. 

And, of course, @NoLayingUp is one of Twitter’s best follows.

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New renderings of Hanse’s No. 4 Redesign are revealed

Joined by Pinehurst President Tom Pashley on The Golf Channel, Hanse describes plans for Pinehurst No. 4

We’re excited to offer a further glimpse into the Gil Hanse redesign of Pinehurst No. 4 with two hole illustrations.

The illustrations are of the 6th and 9th holes of No. 4, revealing some of the sandscape and native characteristics Hanse plans to return to No. 4. The illustrations also include renderings of how the two holes look currently.

No4_6th Hole_Rendering (1280x975)

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“When you look at No. 4, you look at the scale, and the topography on it is really stunning,” Hanse said on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Wednesday. “It’s more dramatic than what Bill (Coore) and Ben (Crenshaw) and Donald Ross had to work with on No. 2. We think as you look through the great vistas that come about there – there’s a beautiful lake in the center of the property – and there’s a lot more undulation to it. If we reintroduce these characteristics – the sandy, scrubby nature – on a scale that fits this piece of property, I think the potential is really pretty exciting.”

Hanse added more details on how he feels he can incorporate Ross’ original spirit into No. 4.

No4_9th Hole_Rendering (975x1280)

Click to Enlarge

“It’s a golf course that’s been changed and altered. There’s no way to take it back to the original Ross design; a lot of those holes are gone,” Hanse said. “But looking at the Ross designs, his plans, were there elements of that that we could bring back into it that will make the course truly feel a lot more like Ross? So, some cross-hazards, some more diagonal bunkering, looking at the green complexes and getting them to sit softly into the landscape, maybe some slight elevation changes as he did on No. 2.”

Hanse on 4 (1280x534)

Gil Hanse surveys the 4th green from the bridge on Pinehurst No. 4 during a visit in July.

Pinehurst announced in early November that Hanse Golf Design would redesign Pinehurst No. 4 and develop a short course as part of a master plan to further restore the original character and spirit to the Pinehurst golf experience. Hanse’s design and routing, which seeks to create a landscape similar to Pinehurst No. 2, will include exposed sand and native wire grass, wider fairways and natural topography. The project is scheduled to begin in fall 2017 with the course reopening in fall 2018.

“It’s just going back in and reimagining the look of it to fit in with what Bill and Ben did on No. 2 – that whole Pinehurst feel to it. … As with any project, if you’ve got sand underneath, we’re excited, so we’re excited to be playing in that sand,” Hanse added.

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