Fan excitement revs up as US Open play begins at Pinehurst - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Fan excitement revs up as US Open play begins at Pinehurst

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PINEHURST, N.C. -

From the USGA to the fans watching the U.S. Open in the gallery along the course, many people called Thursday the day Pinehurst has been waiting for since 2009.

In 2009, the USGA announced the U.S. Open would return to Pinehurst followed by the U.S. Women’s Open. Having the two championships played back to back on the same course has never been done, and it is unclear if it will ever be done again.

With practice rounds over and the competition underway Thursday, some fans said they felt like a part of history.

"We've been looking to this for 5 years now since they announced it was coming here," said Joanne Ryan."“I'm a member here. I love to play this course, and to watch the pros really master it is just phenomenal."

Approximately 400,000 fans are expected to visit Pinehurst during the 2 weeks of the championships. Peak days during the Open could attract more than 50,000 people on a single day according to local estimates.

Ryan said she was thrilled to be one of those fans. Having played the course before, she enjoyed seeing professionals try their best at Pinehurst No. 2. She also has enjoyed the Pinehurst area buzzing with activity.

"The whole course is alive. It's excitement," she said. "Everybody's got that thrill going on. The whole village is lit up. So it's been phenomenal to be here at the course, at Pinehurst in total."

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Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.