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The Villages of Pinehurst will be the first site to ever
host the Men’s and Women’s US Opens in the same year, and when the men’s
tournament wraps up on Sunday (weather permitting), it will make Pinehurst the
first course to ever host the US Open five times.
The club has eight courses in all, with No. 2 the site for
its fifth US Open.
Pinehurst’s history dates back to 1895 when a Boston
businessman bought 5,800 acres of land in North Carolina for the staggering
price of $1/acre.
The golf aspect began in 1898 with a nine-hole course on the
The Pinehurst Golf Club was founded in 1903, and it hosted its first
Major, the PGA Championship, in 1936.
The No. 2 course is a par 72, 7,495-yard field. According to
the course’s website, its signature is its “crowning, undulating greens”.
The course’s signature moment came in 1999, in an US Open
final round that was so sweet at the time, and so bitter just a few months
battle between 42-year-old Payne Stewart, a two-time Major
winner already, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and a 29-year-old Phil Mickelson.
Eventually it was Mickelson leading Stewart by a stroke, but
Stewart caught the younger player on No. 16 and won the tournament by a stroke
with a 15-foot putt on No. 18.
Afterwards, he exulted Mickelson for his recent decision to
miss time to be there for the birth of his children, something Stewart himself
had previously done.
Just four months later, Stewart was dead, one of six
fatalities in a private airplane accident in which the vehicle suffered a
sudden loss of cabin pressure shortly after leaving Orlando, Florida,
eventually running out of fuel and crashing in South Dakota.
Pinehurst now has a statue of Stewart in his moment of
celebration from the 1999 Open behind the 18th green as a memorial.
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