VOL. 24: The Ocean Course 2012 PGA Championship

written by Kiawah Legends | photograph by Geoffrey Cunningham

Interviews from the course

PETE DYE, Course Designer

I walked down the beach and here was this land! It was all briars and you couldn’t walk into it. They said we were going to host the Ryder Cup in two years, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s insane.” As far as I’m concerned, everything went pretty doggone good! We’ve had the Ryder Cup; we’ve had the PGA Championship. Two national championships, and hopefully we’ll get another one down the line. I think the PGA will come back.

ROBERT FISHER, Caddie, The Ocean Course

All it took was someone who could work his way around the course and consistently hit fairways and greens and make a decent amount of putts. And that’s exactly what Rory did. Even on Friday, when the average was 78, Rory still got around and posted a good number. He probably feels invincible and pretty darn confident in himself, and it requires so much confidence—mentally, physically. If you’re comfortable mentally, you can play anything. Rory was in his right moment.

SUZIE WILLIAMS, Kiawah Island Resident

For a couple of the days, we parked ourselves on hole 14, the hole that was rated the hardest. If you got there at a good time, you were close enough to see the players’ expressions and hear the interaction between the caddies and players. I could picture playing the hole myself [laughs], and I’m thinking, “Oh, oh! Look how good they are!” I really appreciate the talent. It’s just fun to watch.

BRETT STERBA, PGA Championship Director

The course played very tough, despite the eight inches of rain we got during the preceding weeks. That was a lot of rain to soften the course. One of the most memorable days was Friday. We had the highest scoring average ever for a major. When the wind blew twenty-five, thirty-five miles an hour, The Ocean Course showed its teeth. It let the players know that when the wind blows here, it’s as tough as it gets.

MIKE VEGIS, Kiawah Island Golf Resort Public Relations Director

Rory is a champion we’re proud to have. He’s the rising star, the future of the game. I saw Rory sink that last shot. I was here 120 hours, but that’s all I saw! [Laughs.] It was great. When the last group was coming through, they allowed people to circle the green. That’s how they used to do it. It was nostalgic…it was brilliant.

BILL MURRAY, Actor, Comedian

Folks went out to support the local enterprise and because it’s golf history. But after a few hours of walking and looking every which way, you’ve had your brain feather-dusted by the beauty, the vision, and the accomplishment. It created a slow, thoughtful smile that lasted all the way back to town. Of course, it could have been that the wind blew and the pros shot in the 90s.

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