PINEHURST, NC (WBTV) - For the 3rd time ever, Pinehurst will host the U.S. Amateur but with a twist this time around.
For the first time in this event’s history, it will be competed on 2 courses. They will use the historic #2 course as well as the newly renovated #4 course.
“It might be a little more interesting for the players,” said Brandon Wu who is ranked #6 in the world in the amateur rankings. “Going through all those rounds of match play on the same course and suddenly you get to experience something from earlier in the week. I think it will be fun for the players.”
The final 36 hole championship match will be contested on #4 in the morning and #2 in the afternoon. The challenge will be great as #4 will not play like #2 especially when it comes to the greens.
“Our thought was let’s just build a golf course that feels like it belongs next to course #2,” said Gil Hanse of Hanse Golf Course Design who headed the re-design of #4. “We didn’t want to go down the path of trying to recreate the greens. The finest examples in the world are right there. If we were to try to do that, it would only result in failure.”
The course re-opened back in September 2018 and it is already hosting a world class event which speaks volumes of the course.
“To have it front and center in a historic pairing of two golf courses is quite an honor and a tribute to what we were able to accomplish,” said Hanse. “We just hope we get a great final match. When it goes from course 4 to course 2, we hope it is still competitive.”
The U.S. Amateur has a different feel as there are not a lot of ropes to keep fans away from the action which adds more to the charm of this event. There is an even bigger bonus to coming to this event.
“Not only do they have unrestricted access, but here’s their chance to see the next big star,” said Wu. “Viktor Hovland playing in the U.S. Amatuer last year and now he is doing well on the PGA Tour. It’s their chance to see these guys right before they make it big.”
The last time the Amateur was at Pinehurst back in 2008, some of the names that competed in that event are stars on the tour now like Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. 14 golfers who played back in 2008 have won a combined 30 tournaments on the PGA Tour.
Things get teed off August 12th at Pinehurst with the championship match set to take place on August 18th.