Pinehurst News

Honoring a legend

Chicago Payne tribute 1

Tom Lusk, Paul Kengott, Dave Fazio and Adam Klos pose with the Payne Stewart statue after their round on Pinehurst No. 2.

Dave Fazio, Adam Klos, Paul Kengott and Tom Lusk were in high school when Payne Stewart made his iconic 15-foot putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

That moment put Pinehurst No. 2 on their bucket list of golf courses they had to play.

Seventeen years later, on a gorgeous North Carolina morning, they crossed it off. The foursome teed off at 8:15 a.m. Thursday wearing knickers and touring hats as a tribute to Stewart.

Chicago Payne tribute 2

Paul Kengott tees off on the 14th hole of Pinehurst No. 2.

“It’s a nice way to honor a legend,” Fazio said. “We all love and respect the game of golf, so this felt like the right way to embrace the experience of playing Pinehurst No. 2.”

The decision was a no-brainer given the historic nature of the course, Klos said.

The men arrived in North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon after leaving a chilly Chicago at 1 a.m. Sunshine and Carolina blue skies offered a warm welcome.

“We changed into our shorts and we started celebrating,” Fazio said with a laugh.

But the most exciting moment of the trip happened when they woke up Thursday morning and headed to the course.

“It felt like stepping back in time to how golf used to be played,” Klos said. “It was awesome.”

Lusk was struck by the amount of legends who have played the course, from Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus to Michelle Wie.

“The beauty of the course comes from the fact that it hasn’t changed,” Fazio said. “The restoration makes it feel exactly the way it was when Donald Ross designed it.

“It was true golf.”

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Jordan Spieth – The SportsCenter Commercial

Now, if only they had had Spieth talk to his food in mid-bite…

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Pinehurst’s Kelly Mitchum qualifies for 2 PGA Tour events

Photo courtesy of Carolinas PGA

Pinehurst’s Kelly Mitchum wins the Carolians PGA Golf Professional Championship. Photo courtesy of Carolinas PGA

Kelly Mitchum is going to to a PGA Tour event near him.

Two of them, actually.

Mitchum, a lead instructor at the Pinehurst Golf Academy (and virally famous for doing this AND this), won the Carolinas PGA Head Professional Championship at Wexford Golf Club in Hilton Head, S.C., qualifying for two PGA Tour events in the process.

Mitchum earned an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage with his round Monday, and the Wells Fargo Championship by winning on Tuesday, for which he collected $1,700.

Mitchum will be grouped with golf sensation and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau in the 1:30 p.m. tee time on Thursday. DeChambeau, who was the low amateur at The Masters last week, will have plenty to talk about with Mitchum. DeChambeau has played a few events at Pinehurst over the last few years.

With six birdies in a 2-under-par round of 70 on Monday, Mitchum entered the final round Tuesday sharing the lead with another Pinehurst golf professional, Pinehurst No. 9’s Matt Vick. Mitchum earned the Heritage exemption with a par on the 18th hole to win a playoff on the first hole of sudden death.

With a spot in the Wells Fargo on the line the following day, Mitchum was untouchable, carding four birdies for a 3-under 69 and a 5-under 139 total, good for a three-shot win over Vick, who was even on Tuesday. (See the Leaderboard here.)

Mitchum has played in 23 previous PGA Tour events, making five cuts, and has had an accomplished career. He’s competed in four PGA Championships, was a U.S. Amateur semifinalist, played on the U.S. Walker Cup team, won the North & South Amateur, the ACC Championship and was a four-time All-American.

The RBC Heritage will be played April 14-17 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island. Mitchum has twice made the cut at the Heritage. The Wells Fargo Championship will be played at Quail Hollow in Charlotte on May 5-8.

“The last time I made the cut I was paired with John Daly,” Mitchum said in a news release. That was a blast.”

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Pinehurst, a champion in…whiffle ball?

WhiffleBall (1024x768)

Walter Hagen. Sam Snead. Ben Hogan. Payne Stewart.

And now, in their rightful place among those giants of Pinehurst champions, the Putterboy Pistols.

Despite their inability to recognize the proper spelling of their employer’s iconic logo – Putter Boy is two words, both capitalized, lads – the Putterboy Pistols, a team of Pinehurst Resort and Country Club golf professionals, were crowned as the Village of Pinehurst Parks and Recreation Department’s Adult Whiffleball Champions for the Winter season.

Clearly, the golf swing translates to Ruthian whiffle ball prowess. Who knew?

Pictured above (l-r), Ben Bridgers, Matt Barksdale, Brian Fahey, Paul Rezuke, Jeff Wojtusik, Adam Baj and Matt Lunden triumphed over such teams as The Village Idiots, Sand Baggers and Those Guys, among others.

Befitting their personalities, sense of fashion and academic acumen, the Pistols (Annie Oakley would be so proud) played their games at Pinehurst Elementary School and decided which team would be home or visitor by vigorous battles of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.”*

(*This is all true. Well, except the part about their personalities, fashion sense and intelligence. We’re having some fun writing this one…)

Join us in congratulating the Putterboy Pistols, first for finding a unique way of team-building and promoting department camaraderie, and secondly for proudly representing Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in our community. Honestly, this sounds like it was a blast.

The trophy, if there is one, will look so good in the History Hall next to the U.S. Open one.*

(*Also not true…)

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Trick shot, yes. Tend the flag, too? No way

Need a good trick shot today?

OK, here you go:

H/T to GeoffShackelford.

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