US Open: Pinehurst Round 4 Notebook
NASCAR Country – Just south of Pinehurst is Rockingham, North Carolina and its historic racetrack. Saturday the US Open had its own driver news. NBC on-course reporter Roger Maltbie was working with the lead group on the 11th hole, and his cart driver Tommy Lineberry was trying to get in position to transport Maltbie.
A North Carolina state trooper, working security on the course, ordered the cart driver to stop. Lineberry ignored the order and, according to the trooper, struck his leg in the process. The trooper ran the cart down on foot, collared the reckless driver, placed him in handcuffs and removed him from the course.
Tee Teasing – USGA setup master Mike Davis dialed up what he hoped would be a user-friendly Sunday course. Davis invited the player to drive the green at the par 4, 3rd (313 yards) and 13th (314 yards). He also cut the holes at the two par 5’s – 5 and 10 – for possible eagles.
At the end of the day the totals show the USGA got what they wanted. The four holes ranked as the four easiest for the day. Better than 40% of the field birdied the 10th. Better than 30 % of the field birdied three and five. Only thirteen had fewer than twenty birdies.
The hardest hole on Sunday was the 528-yard par 4, 4th without a single birdie on the round.
National Slam – With all the attention directed toward Phil Mickelson trying to complete the career slam at Pinehurst, there are a small number of countries with a national golf slam. The US with its three individuals – Sarazen, Nicklaus and Woods- South Africa with Gary Player are in. Nick Faldo put England in the club and Adam Scott did the same for Australia with Masters wins.
Ireland lacks only a Masters and with Martin Kaymer’s US Open win, he and Bernhard Langer leave Germany only an Open Championship short of the elite national club