We have always loved this image of Michelle Wie West’s triumph in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. That’s why it hangs in our clubhouse.


The best part of the image, though, is the story of how local photographer John Gessner captured it. John was supposed to have a “Trophy Presentation Photo Credential,” which would have given him the same access as the rest of the media you see in John’s image, there on the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2.

For one reason or another, though, John’s credential got mishandled or misplaced. And, unfortunately for John, the trophy presentation was working on its time, not anyone else’s.

But John didn’t cave. And all he got was an image no one else had.

While he didn’t have access to get onto the green with the other assembled media, he could go somewhere literally no one had been in several hours – the grandstands aligning the first tee of No. 2.

From there, John had an angle all to himself of the trophy presentation – behind Wie West, the USGA officials and others, and with the large 18th hole grandstand, which was still full of spectators, all in front of him. You can see in the quick video clip, there’s John – yellow shorts, bright shirt, his camera to his eye. Working.

John was left out of the crowd by happenstance, and through no fault of his own. All he did, then, was get our favorite photo of the moment.