The 114th U.S. Open was a throwback, returning to a Pinehurst No. 2 course that had been restored to the original Donald Ross designed conditions at the start of the 20th century. Pinehurst, and the Sandhills region of North Carolina, are often referred to as the cradle or home of American golf. This year's USGA setup was unlike anything we'd see at modern venues, with no thick three-to-four inch rough swallowing up the players' chances at a major championship.
Instead, we got this original Sandhills layout with a mixture of pinestraw, native grassy areas, and browned out fairways testing the players. Of course, the hallmark of any Donald Ross design is the putting surface, and Pinehurst is the most famous example of those slippery turtleback greens. Tiger Woods was absent, and Martin Kaymer took all the drama out of it by Friday afternoon, but the venue provided a great setting for our national championship.