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Pros starting to look ahead to US Open

Posted May 2

Quail Hollow will host the 2017 PGA Championship but there’s another major lurking closer on the calendar, the US Open on Pinehurst No. 2 in June.

Former Duke golfer Keven Streelman is one of several golfers that have already locked up a spot at Pinehurst.

“Preparation is tough. It’s just so hard to replicate the conditions that will be at Pinehurst this year,” said Streelman. “I plan on spending a little time there in a few weeks.”

Former North Carolina golfer Davis Love III, who just turned 50, will have to go through qualifying for the Open at Pinehurst.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing there. I’ve had great memories there all the way back to the North-South Amateur so I’d like to play there again, especially in a US Open,” said Love III.

Phil Mickelson was the runner-up in the 1999 Open at No. 2 but he hasn’t practice on the new No. 2 yet – he hasn’t been able to get a tee time with enough privacy to do his work.

“I could probably get a tee time and join a group, if some guys would let me join them,” said Mickelson. “But I need to get on the golf course. I’ll just wait; it’ll probably close up in May. I was surprised at how much play there is right now.”

Raleigh native Webb Simpson has practiced on the famed course already. The 2012 US Open champ would love nothing more than to raise the trophy again, this time at Pinehurst.

“Pinehurst is kind of a second home for me,” said Simpson. “My parents had a place there growing up. So we’d go down there most every weekend. It’s one of those places; I have a lot of history there. I’ve played a lot of junior golf tournaments, amateur tournaments.”

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