Unveiling Pinehurst’s U.S. Open Challenge: Tales of Donald Ross

Experience the U.S. Open drama at Pinehurst with players battling the legacy of Donald Ross. From unexpected hurdles on the course to moments of triumph, witness top golfers confront the ultimate test. Dive into the rich history and excitement of this iconic tournament.

Pinehurst Puts the Ghosts of Ross to the Test at U.S. Open

Pinehurst, North Carolina – April 20, 2023 (BBC Golf) – It was an early morning at the U.S. Open, and the ghost of Donald Ross was already stirring. Two-time major champion Justin Thomas woke up the legendary architect’s spirit when his errant tee shot on the third hole at Pinehurst No. 2 crossed the entire fairway, ending up near a temporary fence dividing the course from the houses that line it.

The Enduring Legacy of Donald Ross

Not far from where Thomas’ ball landed, there stands Ross’ own house, a testament to the Scotsman’s deep connection with this golf mecca he helped shape over a century ago. As the U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst for the fourth time, the course Ross crafted has once again proven to be a formidable test, one that continues to challenge the best golfers in the world.

The Perils of the Third Hole

The par-4 third hole, measuring just under 400 yards, has been described as the “friendliest” on the course, but it was anything but kind to Thomas and several other players on Thursday. Sam Bennett’s approach shot fell victim to the green’s notorious crowned surface, rolling off the putting surface and settling atop a nearby bunker. Dustin Johnson and Jason Day also encountered the perils of the third, with Johnson making a bogey after his ball ended up in a dusty pathway and Day thinning a bunker shot back over the green.

“This was probably the most difficult that I’ve had in a long, long, long time.” – Bryson DeChambeau

Despite the challenges, the third hole also provided opportunities, with 19 players managing to birdie it. Bryson DeChambeau and Akshay Bhatia were among the few who were able to take advantage, but even DeChambeau acknowledged the mental toll the course had taken.

As for Thomas, his opening-round 7-over 77 was an early indication that the ghost of Donald Ross still looms large at Pinehurst. The course the legendary architect designed and meticulously refined over the years remains a true test of golfing prowess, one that continues to captivate and challenge the sport’s elite.

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