Editor’s Note: As the year comes to a close, Pinehurst will reveal its Top 10 Stories from 2017. We’ll have one recap a day with links to the original stories if you would like to reflect more. We appreciate your engagement with each of these stories and several others from throughout the year, and we look forward to making more news in 2018.
And since we like numbers at Pinehurst, that’s exactly how we’ll count these down:
No. 7: U.S. Open Champion Calls North & South Runner-Up After Championship Match
Native New Zealander James Anstiss explained it pretty well for us after he won his semifinal match of the North & South Amateur this summer.
Anstiss revealed that he arrived at Pinehurst a few days before the tournament and immediately came to the clubhouse. Why? He had neard of the many photos commemorating the 2005 U.S. Open, and HE HAD TO SEE IT.
“I know it can be hard for Americans to understand, but for a kid from New Zealand, where we don’t have a long golf history, to see Michael Campbell’s photos displayed on the wall and to look at Danny Lee’s 7-iron and scorecard from the U.S. Amateur, it’s just massive,” said Anstiss. “It’s a bit surreal to think about. New Zealand has never stood out as a golfing nation, but having a major champion, to see his memorabilia up there at a place like Pinehurst, is just so special. For me to say I’m from the same country, it’s a pretty big deal.”
Several days after taking his solitary walk through the clubhouse, Anstiss found himself in the championship match. Anstiss, in fact, led for most of the day before falling at the 18th to William Nottingham.
After the trophy ceremony, though, a humbled Anstiss was given a cell phone.
On the other end? U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell.
“Us Kiwis, it’s one of our favorite hunting grounds, Pinehurst is,” Campbell told Anstiss, referring too to Danny Lee’s U.S. Amateur triumph in 2008.
Campbell went on the congratulate Anstiss on a great run and gave him a pep talk, leaving Anstiss near speechless.
It was a touching moment to end another terrific North & South week.