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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

June 16, 2014 at 6:17 AM

Postcard from Pinehurst: Final thoughts on U.S. Open from Tar Heel state

Martin Kaymer of Germany celebrates his eight-stroke victory Sunday in the U.S. Open after dropping the final putt at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. The U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay in University Place in 2015.  Photo by Streeter Lecka / The Associated Press

Martin Kaymer of Germany celebrates his eight-stroke victory Sunday in the U.S. Open after dropping the final putt at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. The U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay in University Place in 2015.
Photo by Streeter Lecka / The Associated Press

These people in North Carolina aren’t just friendly, they are tough. Much tougher than we are in the Northwest.

Let me explain. Having lived in Chico, Calif., Las Vegas and Miami, I have become accustomed to hot weather and I snicker when we in the Northwest get all atwitter at the conditions when it’s 90 degrees with no humidity. That’s called pleasant in my book, but people complain incessantly.

I have lived in enough hot places to know what hot is. And it was hot this week in North Carolina. But people here seem to love it. Sunday, before going to the golf course, I took a short hike at Carver’s Creek State Park on a totally exposed trail to a former Rockefeller home. It was about a mile walk and I was convinced if I had not brought water, I would have been a goner. Yet people on the trail would greet me with, “Great day, isn’t it?” I guess, if you enjoy being broasted.

And at the golf course, people were bragging about the weather. When I lived in Las Vegas and Miami, people at least had the sense to know when it’s miserable. Here, they seem to thrive in misery.

Scott Hanson

Scott Hanson

And some quick final thoughts on the U.S. Open. Martin Kaymer was amazing all week. It was one of  the finest performances in history. And he is a likeable guy. He is friendly, funny and even a bit self-effacing. He gives honest answers and will be a great defending champion for next year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

I have had people tell me that it was a boring tournament. But those people didn’t think it was boring when Tiger Woods won by 15 shots at Pebble Beach in 2000, as that got huge TV rankings. Would it be a boring game if LeBron James scored 75 and his team won by 30? Boring is when Alabama beats the Citadel 70-0 in football. But the Open was not a battle of mismatched foes and to watch those rare moments when someone is so great that they rise clearly above the rest is something that should be applauded. If the public can appreciate it when it’s Tiger, then why not with Kaymer?

I am further convinced after being at this U.S. Open that next year’s event at Chambers Bay will be run efficiently and will go much smoother than the naysayers believe. Of greater interest to me is how the players will react to the  course, to all the possible course set-ups and to the fescue greens. It would not surprise me if there is a lot of complaining, but that is a story for another day.

I am going to do a little sightseeing Monday, with a Civil War battlefield and the eight-mile drive from Duke to the University of North Carolina on my to-do list. Maybe I will run into Coach K.

Well, it must be time to go. I am running out of underwear.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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