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Eyes on Pinehurst

Posted: June 10, 2014 8:04 a.m.
Updated: June 11, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The eyes of the sporting nation will be focused on the Carolinas -- Pinehurst, N.C., to be specific -- for the next two weeks as the men’s and women’s U. S. Open golf championships are held at the classic Pinehurst Number Two course, designed by famed golf course architect Donald Ross, who also crafted Camden Country Club. It will be the first time men and women pros have played their championships on the same course, and many are calling the back-to-back competitions a stroke of genius. Indeed, women pros, who’ve never garnered as much attention as their male counterparts, will enjoy a focus they’ve never before experienced.

Golf has been in a funk for a decade; too many courses were built during a boom that developers thought would never end, and many have gone bankrupt. Participation is down among young people, for the game is expensive and time-consuming. A shot in the arm is needed, and while the Pinehurst spectacle won’t constitute a be-all, end-all cure, it could help rev interest in the game. And for those dedicated golfers who enjoy watching the game at its highest level, the tournaments will be fascinating.

Over the years, Pinehurst had been tinkered with until it scarcely resembled the course Ross built in 1907. But noted pro Ben Crenshaw and another architect recently oversaw a complete restoration, and pros who last played the Open there nine years ago will scarcely recognize it. In any event, the next two weeks will be intense, and Kershaw County sports fans will no doubt find their attention drawn to Pinehurst. It will be a fine spectacle, indeed.

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