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Pinehurst Prepares for US Open

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PINEHURST — Next year at this time the world's top pros will be at the heralded Pinehurst course number two, and the fairways and greens will be lined with thousands of fans.

"It's a long course," said golfer Paul Piccillo. "(The) greens are difficult and next year, when they let this rough grow up, it's going to be even worse, and I can't imagine what these pros play like with hundreds of thousands of people around them. I wish I was playing."

Workers at Pinehurst have spent the last ten years preparing for the Open. Two years ago, they finished their toughest task-- rebuilding the greens.

"We're now doing other modifications," explained Bob Farren, who maintains the greens. "just growing the golf course and grooming it and preparing it for next year. Our goal was this year to have the golf course this week, US Open week, in the condition we'd like to have it in for next year, and we're pretty close to achieving that."

There will be 1,500 members of the media here along with the golfers and their entourages. Because of that, USGA officials say fans looking to get one of the 2,200 rooms in the area will be out of luck.

"Once the tickets are sent out, then the brochures on the accommodations will be sent out with it, so people can have their choice of where to stay," said Laurel Stanell of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Those places will be the closest cities nearby like Fayetteville, Raleigh, and even Charlotte. Organizers say information about parking and bus routes and times will also be available after the tickets are in the mail.

If you would like to buy US Open Golf tickets, you can call the USGA at(800) 336-4446. Ticket requests will be handled on a first come, first served basis. Payments for tickets cannot be postmarked prior to June 22nd, or you'll get everything sent back.


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