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Blast from the Past

Photographs by Tim Sayer

The great Harry Vardon won the sixth U.S. Open ever played in 1900 at the Chicago Golf Club. Max Busser, the lead assistant professional at Pinehurst No. 8, strikes the pose.

Francis Ouimet stunned the world when he defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Boston. Cole Stiles, the head professional at Pinehurst No. 7 and No. 9, stands in for Ouimet while his son, Parker, assumes the role of Ouimet’s faithful caddie, Eddie Lowrey.

The immortal Bobby Jones won the U.S. Open four times between 1923 and 1930 in addition to his three Open Championship titles, his five U.S. Amateur championships and a single victory in the British Amateur. Matt Barksdale, Pinehurst Resort’s director of golf, plays the part.

Gene Sarazen, the inventor of the modern sand wedge, won the U.S. Open in 1922 and 1932. He’s appropriately portrayed by Rob Lane, the lead assistant at Pinehurst’s newest course, No. 10, the Sandmines.

The Hawk, Ben Hogan, won the U.S. Open four times between 1948 and 1953 in addition to his five victories in golf’s other three major championships. Andrew Swindon, the assistant professional at Pinehurst’s No. 7 and No. 9, steps into his shoes.

Arnold Palmer, the King, charged from behind at Cherry Hills Country Club to add his lone U.S. Open crown to his four Masters titles and two Open Championship victories. Matt Nunez, the head professional at Pinehurst Country Club, holes the putt.

Jack Nicklaus, whose 18 major championships place him alone at the pinnacle of the sport, captured four U.S. Open titles, the first in 1962 and the last in 1980. Tyler Yancey, the head professional at Pinehurst Sandmines, the new No. 10, plays the Golden Bear.

Lee Trevino, the Merry Mex, won the U.S. Open in 1968 and 1971, outdueling Jack Nicklaus in each. The toss of the cap is by Carlos Rodriguez, Pinehurst’s assistant pro at the No. 7 and No. 9 courses.

Johnny Miller’s final round of 63 on his way to winning the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club was one of the greatest rounds in Open history. Evin Wheaton, the assistant golf professional at the Padgett Learning Center, lines up the putt.

Pinehurst’s first U.S. Open in 1999 provided one of the most exciting finishes the championship has ever seen. The statue of Payne Stewart, relocated temporarily for the 2024 U.S. Open, occupies a place of honor behind the 18th green to prove it. Ryan Shpak, the manager of the Padgett Learning Center and a Pinehurst Golf Academy instructor, kicks up his heels.