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The 2014 US OPEN Recapped & the Mixed Pinehurst Opinions

The Author: Garrett Fonvielle
Published: June 27th, 2014

Pinehurst #2The 114th U.S. Men’s Open Championship was just completed a few weeks ago with as many stories coming in about the winner as there were about the course itself.

With a pair of 65’s the first and second day of the tournament, Martin Kaymer, 29, of Germany, jumped out to a 6-shot lead and never looked back.  After a tough round of 72 on Saturday, he righted the ship, and shot 1 under on Sunday to win the tournament by 8 strokes.  This was the largest margin of victory in the U.S. Open since 2000 when Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes.  Kaymer did not make a double bogey during the entire tournament.  Based on the conditions and the speed of the greens, this was a victory in itself.

Congratulations for 4 great rounds of championship golf, but let’s find out a little more about the course.

Transformation Hole 9

Transformation Hole 9

Architect Donald Ross is responsible for designing the famous Pinehurst No. 2.  The course was completed in 1907, but Ross continued to make changes to the course that is considered his masterpiece until his death in April of 1948.  In a 2011 renovation project by  Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, plans were implemented to restore the native sandy areas which were once a large part of Ross’s original design.

Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted two previous U.S. Opens: in 1999 (won by Payne Stewart) and in 2005 (won by Michael Campbell).  Pinehurst No. 2 has served as the site of more single golf championships than any course in America.  It also makes history this year by becoming the first to host the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in consecutive weeks.

Some of the viewers watching the tournament turn to social media to voice their opinions about the conditions at Pinehurst.  There were mixed opinions about the course, especially the natural areas, and how the players had to adapt their game to the conditions.   On TV, the course looked brown in many areas that in most traditional professional events were always green and plush.  The PGA and the USGA differ in how  courses should be set up.  Just look at how plush Augusta National is during Master’s week, then turn around and look at Pinehurst this year.  From my personal standpoint, I enjoy the difference in the course conditions.  Pinehurst seemed long, quick, and tough but you got rewarded for hitting fairways.  The only drawback was that on some of the holes if you hit the fairway you were sometimes still hitting off of brown, dry areas.  The course did save over 40 million gallons of water by recreating the sandy areas, but was it a success?  I guess it depends on who you ask.. the golfer, the fan, or the guy paying the water bill.

Regardless of the course conditions, I still enjoyed watching some of the inventive shots players made, like Ken Duke putting into the bunker and then holing out to make par on the 9th hole.  To me, that is what Championship golf is all about, shot shaping and shot creation.

Use this blog as a forum and let me know what your thoughts are on the course conditions of Pinehurst No 2.

 

 

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