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Some players have eulogised about it. Edoardo Molinari thinks it’s the toughest course he has ever played. But not everyone is a fan of Pinehurst No.2.

The US Open organisers are relying on the notoriously tough green complexes and lightning fast fairways on America’s most famous golf resort to tame the world’s best this week.

There’s no heavy rough or water in play, but this Donald Ross designed No.2 course remains one of the most demanding hosts of America’s national championship.

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That became abundantly clear again on day one, where only 15 players managed to break par and a large proportion of the field were made to look silly at least once by the domed greens that are being called turtlebacks or upturned cereal bowls.

Pinehurst No.2 proved fascinating viewing on Thursday – but former Open champion Mark Calcavecchia is not impressed at all and wrote this controversial tweet over on X:

“I’m ready for some abuse.  Just gonna spit it out!!   Pinehurst is such a cool area with great courses.  #2 ain’t one of them.  Most overrated course in the world!!  Lemme have it!!  But it’s true.”

When pushed on why the course is ‘overrated’, Calcavecchia replied: Greens.  No OB. No water and almost impossible to hit a tree.  And pot luck if u miss fairways. He later doubled down to another golf fan, calling the Pinehurst challenge ‘awful.’

Not that the shared leader of the tournament agrees with the 1989 Claret Jug winner.

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Rory McIlroy, who fired a bogey-free 65 to lead alongside Patrick Cantlay, loves the versatility of Pinehurst.

“It sort of brings me back to links golf when I was a kid a little bit,” McIlroy said after his fast start. “The greens are a bit more sort of slopey and there’s a bit more movement on them. But there’s options. You can chip it. You can putt it.

“I’d love if we played more golf courses like this.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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