Caulton Tudor

No. 2 Course should suit Bubba to a tee

Posted April 14, 2014

— Brandel Chamblee, the Golf Channel analyst, once described Pinehurst No. 2 as “Augusta National on steroids.”

Those words have to be music to the ears of Bubba Watson, whose big-bang tee shots and innovative shot-making talents opened the door to Augusta’s Butler Cabin and his second Masters championship Sunday afternoon.

The Pinehurst No. 2 layout that Watson and his fellow qualifiers will face June 12-15 in the North Carolina sandhills will so closely resemble Augusta that he should have a better-than-even chance to pull off one of the sport’s rare doubles of winning the Masters and the US Open in the same year.
Ben Hogan did it twice (1951 and ’53). Jack Nicklaus did it in 1972, Arnold Palmer in 1960, Tiger Woods in 2002 and Craig Wood in 1941.

Watson is prone to inconsistent scoring numbers, but there’s good reason to believe No. 2 will be a near-perfect match for his skills.

Unlike most Open courses, No. 2 will not be unnecessarily tight. But at about 7,500 yards, it’ll be so long that some of the leading shorter, more accurate drivers are likely to face an ongoing game of catch-up off the tees.

Augusta played roughly 7,400 yards in dry, sometimes windy conditions last week.

But keep in mind that Augusta has a few rolling hills and water hazards on three back-9 holes. No. 2 is among the flattest championship courses in the world, is basically water free and unlikely to be windswept in mid-June. Watson should be able to play lock and load most of the time.

The fairway bunkers will create more trouble than when Payne Stewart won at 1-under in 1999 and Michael Campbell at even par in 2005. But Stewart won on a 7,175-yard course and Campbell won when the yardage was 7,220.

A recently completed restoration project, headed by Ben Crenshaw and Bil Coore, focused on bringing back some of the same shot lines introduced by Donald Ross in the early 1900s.

Compared to Merion last season, where Watson tied for 32nd and Olympic in 2012 (missed cut), he’ll be able to hit the big pink driver much more often.

After the Masters, Watson’s average driving distance of 315.4 yards increased by almost a full yard over close contenders Dustin Johnson (309.1), Scott Piercy (307) and Nicola Colsaerts.

The oldest adage in the sport is “drive for show and putt for dough.” That’s still true in large part, but length obviously is more important on a 7,500-yard course than the average PGA Tour stops.

“When he has wedge, he can go fire at some pins and be able to stop it,” Luke Donald said of Watson. “If he’s hitting wedge and other guys are hitting 8-irons or more, there’s an advantage.”

The early odds favor Rory McIlory, still injured Tiger Woods and Adam Scott at 10-to-1. Watson is in a group at 25-1 that includes Jason Day and Matt Kuchar.

But if Watson can hit the same tee shots at Pinehurst that he did at Augusta, 25-1 could be a deal.

11 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • baldchip Apr 15, 2014

    Bubba and Pinehurst-well-the names just don't seem comparable. Yet, Bubba's game is on right now! He is a great representative of the game-and a great rather figure!!

    His persona reminds me of Tom Watson's-it's all about the good of the game!!

  • PDC - 1996 Apr 15, 2014

    Nice read, but hang on here: Pinehurst will be tighter than Augusta and the rough will be much more punitive...and that takes driver out of the bag on many holes...I respect Bubba's game and had a blast watching him win this weekend, but I don't think we'll see him contend at the Open.

  • vt94hokies Apr 14, 2014

    Totally happy that Bubba won another green jacket. His emotions really was out there. I loved seeing him hug his caddy, wife and son. He high fived all that he could. I would like to see Phil complete a grand slam in Pinehurst.

  • Kenny Dunn Apr 14, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Are you serious? You need to learn a bit more about The Masters.

  • Objective Scientist Apr 14, 2014

    I've got the "fat finger" typo syndrome today! That should have been "...statue of HIM"... not home!

  • Objective Scientist Apr 14, 2014

    Yeah... you caught me on that one HAMMERHEAD. After hitting "ADD COMMENT", then reading my post after it appeared... I quickly saw the typo in my second sentence! My intention was "prognosticate", not "prognostic". Although prognostic could be correct with a re-wording of the sentence. Nevertheless, I am not prognosticating... I have my tickets and will be there to see first hand who does what! Regardless of who does it... a finish like that of Payne Stewart would be good. I was fortunate enough to be on the edge of the 18th when he made that 15-16 foot putt to win, and struck the pose that is now a statue of home next to the clubhouse at Pinehurst.

  • ncguy Apr 14, 2014

    I was pulling for Spieth
    Classy kid and wanted him to take youngest to win from tiger

  • Hammerhead Apr 14, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Or prognosticate even.

  • Objective Scientist Apr 14, 2014

    This far out from the first tee shot on Pinehurst #2 and talk is about a group of guys being favored at 10-1 and another group, including Watson, favored at 25-1. At this point trying to prognostic who will be hot in ~2 months from now... is as futile as trying to "spit into a strong wind". Pinehurst #2 is indeed a formidable golf course, especially since it has been restored to a very similar condition as it was several decades ago. Unique challenges will vary from the length to lies on thick beds of long-leaf pine needles to waste sand areas to the infamous wire-grass to incredibly fast, upside down yet undulating greens with "false-fronts" all around. Don't be surprised to see guys using putters from 20+ yards off the greens. I learned the game on that type of #2 course... and it requires that you be capable of using every club in the bag in a huge variety of shots. Who will be "at the top of their game" in Pinehurst... at this point NO ONE KNOWS! Pontificate all you want!!!

  • jmcdow2792 Apr 14, 2014

    Bobby Jones? Seems he won both in one year.

More...

 

 

  • The Ryder Cup

    Saturday at 9:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Duke vs. Virginia

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Oklahoma vs. TCU

    Saturday at 5:00 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Arizona State at USC

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • The Ryder Cup

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Kansas City at Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Hurricanes at Tampa Bay (Stream only)

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-FM

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 29
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
6
Fri, Sept 30
7
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
Preview
10
Sat, Oct 1
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
20
 
14
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
13
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
2
 
22
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
12
 
11
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
25
 
8
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
4
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
15
 
9
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
 
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
21
 
18
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
1
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
16
 
3
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
5
 
17
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
 
19
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
24
 
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 29
Miami 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 北京时间5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ET23:25
Cincinnati 
Sunday, Oct. 2
Indianapolis 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ET12:30
Jacksonville 
 
Carolina 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Atlanta 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Baltimore 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Tennessee 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Houston 
 
Buffalo 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
New England 
 
Seattle 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Jets 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Washington 
 
Denver 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
Los Angeles 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Arizona 
 
New Orleans 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Diego 
 
Dallas 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Francisco 
 
Kansas City 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Pittsburgh 
Monday, Oct. 3
NY Giants 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Minnesota 
 
NHL Preseason
Nashville010:00
2
Florida1
 
Ottawa 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Buffalo 
 
Nashville 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Florida 
 
NY Islanders 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
NY Rangers 
 
NY Islanders 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Philadelphia 
 
Pittsburgh 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET20:30 BRT
Detroit 
 
Washington 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET20:30 BRT
Montreal 
 
Carolina 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET20:30 BRT
Tampa Bay 
 
Colorado 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT
Minnesota 
 
Calgary 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT
Winnipeg 
 
Arizona 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT
Anaheim 
 
Vancouver 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ET23:30 BRT
San Jose 
 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Milwaukee 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
American League
Boston04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
NY Yankees0
 
Baltimore04:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto0
 
Cleveland04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit0
 
Minnesota04:15 PT5:15 MT6:15 CT7:15 ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 MST6:15 EST6:45 VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 CT
Preview
Kansas City0
 
Tampa Bay 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox 
 
Seattle05:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Houston0
 
Oakland 7:05 PT8:05 MT9:05 CT10:05 ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 MST9:05 EST9:35 VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 CT
Preview
LA Angels 
National League
Arizona04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Washington0
 
Chi Cubs04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh0
 
Philadelphia04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Atlanta0
 
NY Mets 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Miami 
 
Cincinnati05:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
St. Louis0
 
LA Dodgers 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
San Diego 
 
Colorado 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1R. McIlroy - z-12F
2tR. Moore - y-12F
2tK. Chappell - y-12F
4P. Casey-9F
5H. Matsuyama-6F
6tJ. Thomas-5F
6tD. Johnson-5F
8tA. Scott-4F
8tJ. Dufner-4F
10tS. Kim-2F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1I. Chun-21F
2tS. Park-17F
2tS. Ryu-17F
4S. Feng-15F
5S. Kim-14F
6I. Kim-12F
7A. Stanford-10F
8H. Nomura-9F
9tB. Henderson-7F
9tA. Jutanugarn-7F
View Full Leaderboard
 
European Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Levy - z-19F
2R. Fisher - y-19F
3tM. Jonzon-16F
3tR. Karlsson-16F
5B. Wiesberger-15F
6M. Kaymer-14F
7tR. Bland-13F
7tE. De La Riva-13F
7tF. Fritsch-13F
7tG. Havret-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Pacific Links (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Montgomerie - z-15F
2S. McCarron - y-15F
3tM. Jimenez-13F
3tJ. Sluman-13F
3tS. Dunlap-13F
3tD. Garwood-13F
7tB. Langer-12F
7tM. Dawson-12F
7tO. Browne-12F
10tF. Funk-11F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 27
Chengdu Open (ATP)
First Round
D. Lajovic1 6 6   
F. Delbonis6 3 4   
Y. Lu6 6    
R. Stepanek3 4    
(7) J. Sousa63 3    
K. Khachanov77 6    
A. Mannarino6 62 6   
D. Kudla4 77 4   
(8) P. Lorenzi6 3 6   
J. Millman4 6 1   
K. Anderson6 6    
J. Thompson2 4    
(5) A. Ramos-Vino6 5 3   
M. Berrer4 7 1   
M. Baghdatis65 77 5   
P. Carreno Bu77 65 5   
(6) V. Troicki6 3    
C. Ruud3 2    
 
Shenzhen Open (ATP)
First Round
(8) J. Vesely6 710    
P. Andujar2 68    
M. Jaziri6 77    
S. Robert3 65    
G. Garcia-Lop5 4    
R. Harrison7 6    
M. Kukushkin6 62 77   
L. Rosol3 77 64   
I. Cervantes6 77    
A. Santillan2 65    
(6) B. Paire65 7 6   
N. Basilashvi77 5 3   
J. Tipsarevic77 6    
Z. Zhang63 4    
G. Elias3 3    
T. Bellucci6 6    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 27
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
Second Round
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 6    
M. Brengle0 4    
(3) A. Radwanska6 6    
E. Makarova4 1    
(13) R. Vinci5 2    
Y. Shvedova7 6    
(14) P. Kvitova6 6    
E. Svitolina3 1    
L. Chirico1 1    
D. Kasatkina6 6    
(1) A. Kerber64 6 6   
K. Mladenovic77 1 4   
M. Doi7 0 2   
B. Strycova5 6 6   
(8) M. Keys6 6    
C. Garcia3 4    
(6) V. Williams6 6    
Y. Putintseva3 2    
(10) D. Cibulkova2 6 6   
L. Siegemund6 3 4   
C. Wozniacki6 6    
K. Siniakova4 4    
(11) J. Konta6 6    
S. Zhang3 3    
(2) G. Muguruza4 62    
J. Jankovic6 77    
 
Tashkent Open (WTA)
First Round
R. Ozaki3 6 6   
E. Kostova6 4 1   
I. Khromachev4 6 6   
T. Martincova6 3 3   
(8) N. Broady6 7    
A. Sadikovic4 5    
(3) C. Buyukakcay1 4    
S. Shapatava6 6    
P. Tig4 6 6   
V. Diatchenko6 4 3   
(6) L. Tsurenko6 6    
E. Rodina0 2    
(7) S. Cirstea5 2    
F. Schiavone7 6    
K. Pliskova6 3 6   
S. Sorribes T3 6 4   
I. Soylu6 6    
S. Soler-Espi0 2    
K. Kozlova6 77    
D. Vekic1 63    
(2) K. Flipkens79 6    
A. Bogdan67 3