The best women golfers in the world are warming up at Pinehurst No. 2. And while they’re fine tuning their strokes, the maintenance staff is fine tuning the course by soaking it down to keep it playable.
“Our green section, along with the ground staff here, they’re reading moisture levels in every green quadrant. They’re taking firmness readings,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.
The woman’s course layout is about 1,000 yards shorter than the men’s, but it will be just as challenging. The passing of the U.S. Open baton started Sunday.
“It was just so exciting for us to see the women actually walking with the men, practicing right along side of them. And it is exactly what we were hoping for in this back-to-back championship,” said USGA Public Relations Director Janeen Driscol.
But you can’t move forward without looking back at the first week of this historic event. The Governor Pat McCrory set the stage during an opening press conference by sinking a 15-foot putt in honor of Payne Stewart.
The tournament play was very nicely supplemented by fan involved activities and events.
“The celebrations that occurred at the U.S. Open Experience Site in the Village were extraordinary,” said Driscol. “The military night was very well attended by the rest of the community, as well as the night of the symphony.”
The USGA saves some money by having both tournaments at the same location. As structures like the tent village for players and fans only have to be constructed once and the USGA team only has to book hotels and flights to one city. Despite the savings, the USGA say it’s not the motivation for having both Opens back-to-back at the same course.
“While you might think that putting tents up in two locations or being able to have two different campuses might be a money saver. In truth, it’s really just the way that we can celebrate women’s golf,” said Driscol.