Once again I was fortunate enough to be invited to cover the United States Open Championship for the United States Golf Association. Some of my favorite images are below.
Working an open for the sport’s governing body is a lot different from shooting editorially; the days are long (typical ones run from 5:30 a.m. until after 10 at night, for a week straight) and the assignments varied–everything from straight action to more corporate/PR-style shoots, from branding-intensive, detail-oriented shooting to documentary behind-the scenes work. But I always enjoy the opportunity to try and pull out everything in my bag of tricks, and to work with a great bunch of people. We had a team of 7 photographers, including USGA US Open vets Michael “Sparky” Cohen, Steve Gibbons, Jonathan Kolbe, Hunter Martin, and, in the first time I can ever refer to him as a rookie about anything (so I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity), Fred Vuich.
Special thanks go out to John Mummert at the USGA for hiring me on to shoot, our fantastic editing team of Porter Binks, Jessica Foster, Chris Keane, Matt Sullivan, and Mike Zacchino for putting up with me and my voice captions, and to Diana Bowe at Canon Professional Services for lending me a new 400 2.8 for the week, sparing my back and left shoulder the prospect of lugging my old, heavy beast of a 400 2.8 L-II around for two straight weeks, as the US Women’s Open would follow immediately on the heels of this championship.
But that’s another post for another day…
Mark Wilson replaces a flag at the practice green Wednesday evening, the day before the start of championship play. (Leica M240, Summilux-M 75mm f1.4).
Tees at the starter's table prior the first tee time on Thursday morning. (Canon 1DX, EF 24-70mm f2.8 LII)
Jim Furyk surveys a putt at the third green (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm 2.8 IS-LII).
Adam Scott waits to putt at the 18th Hole during the third round (Canon 1DX, EF 24-70mm f2.8 LII).
Adam Scott tees off at the third hole during the third round (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Ernie Els hits his tee shot at the 18th during the second round (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Rickie Fowler blasts his second shot out of what some Scots I know would affectionately refer to as 'the shite' on the 11th hole during the final round (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Masters champion Bubba Watson missed the cut, partly because this birdie attempt at 13 on Friday didn't fall... (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f2.8 IS-LII)
...as did Pablo Larrazabal, who needed help finding his ball in the tall stuff from his his caddie, Chris Rice, and playing partners Erik Compton and Scott Langley at the the 13th during the second round (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f 2.8 IS-LII).
Ryan Moore expressed a frustration felt by many on Pinehurst's difficult greens during the second round (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Matt Kuchar peeks out of a bunker to watch his second shot at the sixth hole during the first round (Canon 1DX, EF 400mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Players at the 13th hole during Monday's practice round (Canon 1DX, EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Shifting gears for a minute, a young girl works with an experiment in the Chevron Stem Zone sponsor tent on Tuesday (Canon 1DX, EF 24-70mm f2.8 L-II).
Kids enjoying the Thistle Dhu putting green, built by the USGA adjacent to the 13th green. (Canon 1DX, EF 24-70mm f 2.8 L-II).)
Hand-watering the practice green on Tuesday evening. (Leica M240, Summilux-M 50mm f1.4).
One of my favorite US Open traditions is my annual trip out early with the setup crew before the final round on Sunday morning. In addition to giving me an idea of how the holes will play and how I need to position myself when it comes to tee and hole locations, it's also just a nice, relaxing way to start what I know is going to be a hectic, intense day. Here, USGA agronomist Chris Hartwiger is out before dawn to measure the speed of the first green with a Stimpmeter (Leica M240, Summilux 35mm f1.4 Aspheric).
And in case you were wondering what some of those green speeds were... (Leica M240, Summilux 35mm f1.4 Aspheric).
The guys on the maintenance staff who cut the holes take the job very seriously--and are quite the perfectionists (Leica M240, Elmarit 21mm f2.8 Aspheric).
Cutting the hole at the fifth green, (Leica M240, Summilux 35mm f1.4 Aspheric).
Getting ready to place the flagstick at 18 after cutting the last hole of the day. (Leica M240, Elmarit 21mm f2.8 Aspheric).
Eventual champion Martin Kaymer on his way to the first tee prior to the final round (Canon 1DX, EF 24-70mm f2.8 LII).
Martin Kaymer acknowledges the gallery at the 18th hole after winning the 2014 U.S. Open (Canon 1DX, EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS-LII).
Martin Kaymer in the locker room with the champion's trophy after the final round (Leica M240, Summilux 35mm f1.4 Aspheric).
Sunset behind the scoreboard at the 18th (Canon 1DX, EF 70-200,, f2.8 IS-LII).