Pinehurst No. 2 has been the venue for two U.S. Opens, two U.S. Amateurs, one Ryder Cup Match, one PGA Championship and one U.S. Women’s Amateur. In 2014 it adds the U.S. Women’s Open to that prestigious list of major golf championships when the USGA conducts its women’s championship the week following the men’s competition.
“Somewhere Ernie Banks must be smiling—‘Let’s play two,’” then-USGA Executive Director David Fay said in June 2009 when he made the announcement.
The U.S. Open will be held June 12th through 15th, with the U.S. Women’s Open following June 19th through 22nd. Tickets will go on sale to USGA members in the spring of 2013, and to the general public in June 2013.
Jim Hyler of Raleigh was vice president of the USGA when the announcement was made in 2009, and then spent two years in 2010–2011 as the association’s president.
“I think the 2014 U.S. Open Championships will be wonderful,” Hyler says. “The second week, the crowds won’t be as big, the bleachers won’t be as full, but I still think having the women at Pinehurst right behind the men will mean a great deal for women’s golf.”
The footprint for 2014 will remain much the same as the two previous U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in 1999 and 2005 in terms of placing parking, bleachers, merchandise and corporate hospitality.
The Sandhills area is fortunate in that it has a deep reservoir of experienced volunteers to handle two weeks’ worth of assignments. The USGA had built a volunteer roster of some 5,500 individuals by the fall of 2012 and was well on its way to compiling its goal of at least 6,500 volunteers for the two weeks.
“This will be such an historically relevant championship,” says Reg Jones, championship director for the U.S. Open. “That’s the driving force behind it. It’s something that’s never been done before—the opportunity to crown the two best golfers in the world on back-to-back Sundays, on the same golf course, pretty much under the same conditions. The level of discussion and debate and attention these two events will receive will be good for the game.”
By Lee Pace