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USGA's Davis: LPGA "Very Excited" About Pinehurst As Open Host

USGA Exec Dir Mike Davis today said Pinehurst No. 2 hosting both the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens could raise the profile of women’s golf. Davis during his annual press conference prior to the men’s event said he recently spoke at an LPGA players meeting at the request of Commissioner Mike Whan and said they are “very, very excited” about the tournament’s prospects. Davis: “Yes, they had some questions about how the logistics work, how are the hotel situations going to work, 'How can I practice?' 'What about divots?' But I think if anybody was sitting in that room they would realize that there was such a positive atmosphere.”

Davis said there “isn’t really a difference” in how the USGA will prepare for the women’s tournament compared to the men’s event. Davis: “This sounds swell on paper, but trying to actually execute it perfectly – I can almost guarantee you we won’t do that.” But he added, “We’re excited about what this can do. In a lot of ways, this next week is going to be about showcasing women’s golf.”

Meanwhile, on the heels of the organization’s “While We’re Young” pace-of-play initiative last year, USGA President Tom O’Toole announced an American Express-sponsored “Play 9” campaign which encourages golfers to play just nine holes instead of the 18. O’Toole said the campaign, featuring golfer Rickie Fowler, will debut Saturday during NBC’s telecast.
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