2014 U.S. Women’s Open: Gulbis caught fans attention early at Pinehurst

PINEHURST, N.C. – Before she would even get a chance to play the restored No. 2 Course at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, LPGA Tour veteran Natalie Gulbis was on site at the 2014 U.S. Open over the weekend.

Gulbis arrived in the Southern Pines-Pinehurst area last Thursday after completing media appearances in New York and managed to get some practice in at nearby Pine Needles, site of the previous U.S. Women’s Open played there back in 2007.

Her itinerary then brought her to the course on Saturday where she was in the Lexus Performance Drive tent signing autographs and catching fans’ attention in advance of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open that begins play on the famed Donald Ross layout this Thursday.

“It’s been really fun watching it on TV, seeing how challenging and tough it looks,” Gulbis said of taking in the U.S. Open that was continuing its third round of play as she finished signing autographs for the day.

“I got to see some shots.”

Gulbis is no stranger to playing No. 2, and pointed out that she had played it ‘quite a few times’.

However, she had not yet done so in its restored condition.

That would come on Monday following completion of the men’s USGA championship which Martin Kaymer eventually won on Sunday.

“It’s tough. I think you gotta’ really play great golf – hit a lot of different shots,” she said of what the field of 156 players in the 69th playing of the USGA Women’s Championship will have to do.

They were similar points made by many of the men who just played the course over the past week.

“Your short game’s got to be very competent in order to hit some of the variety of shots. I’m excited for the challenge – it’s gonna’ be tough.”

When asked if there will be much difference in what the women will seek to do on a course that only three of 156 men could in scoring under par during the U.S. Open, Gulbis didn’t think so – at least in relative terms.

“We’re trying to do the same thing – hit fairways, hit greens, miss it in the right spots, get up and down. It’s just a shorter version. Where they hit 7-irons, we’ll hit 7-irons. It will feel the same for us. “