Peggy Kirk Bell, who has nurtured the nearby Pine Needles resort since 1953 when she took ownership, has hosted the U.S. Women's Open and was a bit peeved when Pinehurst No. 2 got this year's second half of back-to-backs.
John Paul Newport caught up with the 92-year-old and wrote his weekly WSJ column about Bell.
This was fun (thanks reader John):
On Tuesday about a dozen former Women's Open champions played a round at Pine Needles, with Bell viewing some of the action from her cart. The previous week Lucy Li, the pig-tailed 11-year-old charmer from Northern California who is the youngest ever to qualify for a U.S. Open, practiced at Pine Needles and had lunch with Bell several times.
"She's phenomenal. She didn't miss a shot," Bell said. "I told her she had the skill to win here this week." That is not going to happen but the generation-spanning marvel of their friendship is a pleasure to ponder: A woman who took lessons from Tommy Armour, the 1927 U.S. Open champ and an influential early instructor, encouraging a girl who, when she is 24, might well be a contender for the 2027 Women's Open.