VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (JUNE 13, 2007) – Pinehurst No. 2 couldn’t have received a better gift during the course’s 100-year-old birthday celebration than word of the U.S. Open Championship returning to the North Carolina resort in 2014.
The highly-acclaimed Donald Ross layout will be the site of the United States Golf Association’s national championship for third time in 15 years, an unprecedented record in the modern era. Pinehurst No. 2 also hosted the U.S. Open in 1999 and 2005 – the fastest turnaround for an Open since World War II.
"Golfers of all skill levels have enjoyed Pinehurst No. 2 for a century, and we’re honored that the USGA believes so strongly in the challenge it offers to the best golfers in the world," said Robert Dedman Jr., CEO of Pinehurst. "We look forward to another thrilling moment in our history as we continue our championship tradition."
It will be the tenth individual USGA championship to be contested at Pinehurst, solidifying a longstanding relationship that began with the 1962 U.S. Amateur Championship. Three World Amateur Championships were staged at Pinehurst prior to 1980, followed by the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1989, the U.S. Senior Open in 1994 and both U.S. Open Championships. Pinehurst will again welcome the USGA for the return of the U.S. Amateur Championship next year.
"This is a statement about Pinehurst," said David Fay, executive director of the USGA. "The fact of the matter is there are some U.S. Open sites that the phrase should be ‘Let’s extend that contract’ and that’s what we’ve done with Pinehurst. 1999 and 2005 were so good, it was inevitable that we were going to come back, it was just a question of when."
Pinehurst No. 2, known for its turtleback greens and unique chipping areas, became universally acclaimed by golfers as a great test of golf during the course’s first Open in 1999, won by the late Payne Stewart with a 15-foot putt on the final hole. Stewart was the only player to shoot under par at minus 1. After his win, Stewart said: "I realize how grand Pinehurst No. 2 is and how special a place it is. The golf course stood the test of the U.S. Open, and I think it will be back again."
No golfer was able to break par in 2005 when Michael Campbell upset Tiger Woods to win by two shots, once again proving that No. 2 was a difficult match for the game’s best players.
Pinehurst formally invited the USGA to return the championship directly following play.
"The design is such that it really tests your whole golf bag," said Ernie Els. "You don’t have to trick it up, nothing."
Woods, the game’s No. 1 player, has a pair of top three finishes at the previous two Opens at Pinehurst No. 2 and will likely cherish another chance to win a major here after being so close in 1999 and 2005.
"I play golf courses on tour and we all see it, miss the green, automatic lob wedge, hack it out of the rough," said Woods. "That to me is not fun golf. Fun golf is Pinehurst. Fun golf is learning how to maneuver the ball on the ground and give yourself options."
Woods recently singled out what legendary architect Ross called "the fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed," and a course Jack Nicklaus says "is my favorite golf course in the U.S. from a design standpoint."
A complete timeline on the evolution of Pinehurst No. 2 can be found at http://www.pinehurstmedia.com as well as downloadable video ready for online streaming, photography and other press materials.
Located in the North Carolina heartland, world-renowned Pinehurst is a 2,000-acre resort property and 4,000-member strong country club. Built in 1895, it has served as a championship golf site since the 1901 North and South Amateur Championship, whose past winners include Walter Travis, Francis Ouimet, former USGA president Bill Campbell, Jack Nicklaus and Davis Love. Other major international golf events at Pinehurst have included the PGA Championship in 1936, the Ryder Cup Matches in 1951, and the TOUR Championship in 1991 and 1992, in addition to its USGA championship heritage.
Janeen Driscoll, 910.235.8710