From Sandhills Scion McGowan Ready for Ultimate U.S. Open Moment

When Michael McGowan arrives at the first tee of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2 on Thursday morning to kick off the 124th U.S. Open, he’ll go through his usual pre-shot routine, something he’s done countless time. 

Take a couple of deep breaths. Check his grip and stance. Pick out a target and hopefully find the fairway of the 395-yard, par-4 opening hole.

But there will be a couple of other extenuating forces in play for the 33-year-old first-time major-championship competitor and “hometown” hero from nearby Southern Pines. Two important figures in McGowan’s life won’t be physically among the 100-plus friends and family in his rooting section. But rest assured Peggy Kirk Bell, the World Golf Hall of Famer, LPGA Tour pioneer and McGowan’s deceased maternal grandmother, and Bonnie Bell McGowan, Michael’s mother who passed away 18 months ago from pancreatic cancer at 68; the two will proudly be smiling from the heavens and offering spiritual guidance as he makes his way around Donald Ross’ masterpiece.

Read more here: Sandhills Scion McGowan Ready for Ultimate U.S. Open Moment

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