Mark Hubbard Could Not Believe What Pinehurst No. 2 Did to Him on First Hole

Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy were each about to shoot opening-round 65s at Pinehurst No. 2, suggesting Pinehurst No. 2's setup is not as diabolical as other U.S. Opens. That's not to say it's easy out there. And the prevailing wisdom is that it's only going to get more difficult as the weekend goes on.

Friday morning's early groups got a brutal wakeup call discovering that the decision to put some water on the greens at the beginning of the day made approach shots even more difficult. Mark Hubbard's excellent second shot was the most painful of all as he spun it inches away from the hole only to watch helplessly as it spun all the way off the green complex.


Hubbard would go on to bogey the hole. And have his reaction edited out of clips being shared on the internet openly cheering for the course. He may have been the first person to be stunned by the conditions and difficulty today, but he certainly won't be the last.

Kyle Koster


Kyle Koster is an assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated covering the intersection of sports and media. He was formerly the editor in chief of The Big Lead, where he worked from 2011 to '24. Koster also did turns at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he created the Sports Pros(e) blog, and at Woven Digital.