Complicated setup at Pinehurst in 2014


With the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open being played in back-to-back weeks at Pinehurst No. 2 in June, setup will become complicated and could dictate outcomes.

That’s the opinion of NBC’s Johnny Miller.

The men will play first, June 12-15, with the women coming in to play June 19-22.

“I can't imagine the USGA just letting the greens go absolutely dead on Sunday, because they're using them again the next week,” Miller said in an NBC/Golf Channel media conference call advancing play in 2014. “I have a feeling they're going to have to keep more water on them, so they don't get nailed by the press, that they let the greens go brown and dead for the women.

“To me, that's a fairly interesting little story there, that I think would actually help Phil [Mickelson], if they do keep the greens a little softer, because he could scramble a little bit better. I can't imagine that the USGA will let them just go totally brown, having the women there, because it's not going to recover that time of year once it gets to that point.”

Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo: “Yeah, I agree. That's one of the reasons why I think Pinehurst this year gives a lot more of the field a chance, because I don't think we're going to see, and we can't from what you've just referenced, a U.S. Open that's on the brink . . .

“The fact that you have another event the week after, you can't stretch the golf course out. You really can't, otherwise the women will be putting on no grass. They have to be very protective.”

NBC’s Mark Rolfing said he doesn’t like the idea of majors being played in back-to-back weeks on the same course. Nobilo said the USGA should have scheduled the women to play before the men.

“Less traffic, they could prepare the golf course, but I guess they figured the men deserve a more tough challenge,” Nobilo said. “They want better fairways. Maybe they can have a different set of hole locations. That's the thing, too, is you've really got to find eight hole locations. Otherwise, those areas are going to get punished, as well. It's interesting how they're going to cope with it.”