Pinehurst Golf News Archive

Grimmer returns to Pinehurst, plays well to begin North & South Amateur

Will Grimmer, left, competes in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

UPDATE: ROUND 2 RECAP: Cunningham leads while Engle’s masterful 65 rockets him into contention

Tennessee’s Chad Merzbacher leads after lone under-par round

ROUND 1 SCORES

ROUND 2 GROUPINGS

By Alex Podlogar

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – After just a couple of holes, Will Grimmer noticed something.

The hole locations looked familiar.

A year after playing in the 2014 U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2 and two years after shooting his way into Pinehurst lore with the only known 59 carded in competitive play, Grimmer returned to No. 2 for his first appearance in the North & South Men’s Amateur on Monday. He shot a 2-over 72, good for a tie for sixth and just three shots back of leader Chad Merzbacher after the first round of the 115th playing of the national event.

“That was fun. The only time I’ve ever played No. 2 was last year during the U.S. Open, and it was kind of weird to see it, well, normal,” said Grimmer, who shot his 59 during the second round of the 2013 North & South Junior on Pinehurst No. 1.

“The only time I’ve ever played No. 2 was last year during the U.S. Open, and it was kind of weird to see it, well, normal.” -Will Grimmer

“But I could still reminisce and remember how it felt last year. I stood on the 17th tee today and looked at that back left pin, and I was able to have flashbacks. As much as I was focused on today’s round, I had to kind of take a step back and smile and think about what happened last year, which was also a lot of fun.”

With his father Kevin on the bag, Grimmer opened the championship with a three-putt bogey on the first hole. But Grimmer, who will play at Ohio State as a freshman next season, settled down to hit the green in regulation on the first eight holes. He chipped in on the 8th and 15th holes, finishing with three birdies offset by five bogeys.

The familiar hole locations, nearly identical to those of the first round of the 2014 U.S. Open, were beneficial.

“Having the same hole locations really helped me,” Grimmer said. “I was like, ‘OK, don’t press, play for the middle of these greens and it’s going to work out.’”

Chad Merzbacher, the first-round leader of the 115th North & South Amateur.

It certainly worked out for Merzbacher. The University of Tennessee rising senior also chipped in twice and had just three bogeys against four birdies despite only hitting six greens in regulation. With No. 2 playing at 7,198 yards with greens speeds running close to 12 on the stimpmeter, the Minneapolis native’s 1-under 69 was the only score under par.

“I didn’t hit the ball particularly well, but I just kind of stayed with it,” said Merzbacher, who recorded seven top-15 finishes in 12 college tournaments this season. “I stayed in control and kind of sat in the passenger seat and just let it go.” … Continue Reading

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The 115th North & South Amateur – The Contenders

ROUND 1 RECAP, CLICK HERE

No player entered into the 115th North and South Amateur Championship is coming to Pinehurst without dreams of adding his name to the distinguished list of champions. The longest consecutive running amateur championship in the United States, the North and South’s prestige has long been well documented, its past champions among the most recognizable and celebrated names in the history of golf.

Ward. Stranahan. Patton. Nicklaus. Strange. Sutton. Pavin. Love. (Related: “The North & South Locker Room: Golf’s Greatest are Here”)

Even those who haven’t won the Putter Boy trophy still agonize over the missed opportunity.

And now, the championship returns to Pinehurst No. 2, where a 7,000-yard, par-70 setup with U.S. Open hole locations awaits players, both for three rounds of medal play and the decisive match play.

Before one of them etches his name in history on July 3, here’s a chance to get to know a few of the top players entered into the field. (Note: By no means do we think the champion will only come from this list.)

LIVE SCORING

PAIRINGS … Continue Reading

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The sounds of championship golf

The last hour of the U.S. Open broadcast from Chambers Bay had a little bit of everything, from brilliant approach shots…to drives OB…to gut-punching misses from 3 feet.

It also included this, which @NoLayingUp sets up perfectly with its tweet:

Nothing like the sounds of championship golf.

Congrats, Jordan.

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Pinehurst’s New Golden Age: No. 2 and the Championships

We’re fortunate to have much of our faithful audience outside of North Carolina, which means even if you wanted to enjoy our new documentary on UNC-TV last night, you might not have had it available in your market. While the DVD is available online for just $14.95 and certainly offers a better, more satisfying viewing experience than what you’re about to get here, we still wanted to whet your appetite a bit with several clips from the hour-long program.

Please enjoy Pinehurst’s New Golden Age: No. 2 and the Championships:

Introduction

 

Jack Nicklaus and the North & South Amateur

 

The 1999 U.S. Open

… Continue Reading

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Excerpt from “Slaying the Tiger” – The 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Shane Ryan’s new book, “Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes of the New PGA Tour.”  Ryan dives into the 2014 U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2, the USGA, some of the – ahem – more interesting thoughts on Coore and Crenshaw’s 2010 restoration of Donald Ross’s masterpiece. You can purchase the book here.

“Charlie Price, the great writer, he’d say Pinehurst in his day was fairways, and the fairways were oases within sandy country. The wispy rye grass, pine needles and sand, the little tufts of ground, that’s what Pinehurst was.” —Ben  Crenshaw,  to PGATour.com, on the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2

BY SHANE RYAN

In the nine years preceding the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, the winning score was even par or worse six times. Two of the three winners who actually went under par—Tiger Woods in 2008 and Lucas Glover the next year—stayed nice and close, at -1 and -4, respectively. The only exception came in 2011, when Rory McIlroy put on a historic show at Congressional Country Club, decimating a difficult track to the tune of -16 and asserting himself as one of the world’s best players.

The first winner in that difficult stretch was Michael Campbell, who won at the Pinehurst Resort in the Sandhills of North Carolina with even par in 2005. Campbell has largely been forgotten—he’s a member of golf’s one-hit wonder club, and you can barely find a mention of him at the club—but the previous Pinehurst champion in 1999, Payne Stewart, has become an important part of the resort’s identity. Less than six months after he won the event, he died in a plane crash, and he’s honored today with a large statue outside the clubhouse that captures the moment when he sunk the winning putt on 18 to beat Phil Mickelson—clad in his famous knickers and tam-o’-shanter cap, right foot off the ground, fist extended in triumph. … Continue Reading

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