Pinehurst may host both Opens in 2014
For the first time, the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open likely will take place on the same venue in consecutive weeks, when Pinehurst No. 2 plays host to each tournament in 2014 -- pending approvals on Monday.
With the U.S. Open already scheduled to return to Pinehurst for the first time since 2005, the women's event would be conducted directly afterward, offering a rare opportunity for the world's best male and female players to compete on the same site in back-to-back weeks.
Golf Digest first reported the story Saturday, citing sources. The official announcement is scheduled to be made next week, pending the approval of the USGA Executive Board and the town council of the Village of Pinehurst.
The consecutive events should also be a money-saver, if not a money-maker, for the organizing committee, which will in effect get a two-for-the-price-of-one deal on hosting a major championship event.
There are also some specific disadvantages, which could serve as a hindrance during each of the tournaments, though each instance has been addressed by the USGA. In the case of a U.S. Open playoff, for example, the Women's Open competitors would simply have to wait their turn to commence practicing on the course.
If approved, this will be the first time a U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open are contested on consecutive weeks at the same venue. But it is hardly the first time that two USGA events have been played on the same course back-to-back. In 1895, the more-heralded U.S. Amateur was hosted at Newport CC, with the first U.S. Open held there one week later.
Jason Sobel is a golf writer for ESPN.com.
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