Committed to Excellence: U.S. Amateur Call Has Boyd Excited
Color Stephen Boyd excited, committed and determined, and expect him to stay that way until at least the end of August.
Boyd, who has been with Pinehurst Resorts for 14 years following retirement from a 29-year career with American Airlines, has been selected to oversee the production and staging of the United States Men's Amateur Championship, which will be held in Pinehurst Aug. 18-24.
Following the Amateur, Boyd will return to his position in business development and external relations under Director Peter Stilwell, but for the next few months he's concentrating all his efforts toward making the 2008 Men's Amateur the best it can be.
Boyd's new duties were assigned a few weeks ago by Pinehurst President Don Padgett II when David Benne left to assume a position at Augusta National.
Benne was the final member of the Pinehurst Championship Management team that had earned respect and rave reviews from the United States Golf Association for its organization involving the U.S. Opens at Pinehurst in 1999 and 2005, as well as the U.S. Women's Opens at Pine Needles in 2001 and 2007.
"There is no longer a PCM office," Boyd said. "Since the Open, David and Heather Fueger were the PCM and they've both taken new positions. It's now the Office of the 2008 U.S. Amateur."
Padgett has no concerns about turning the reins over to Boyd, who celebrated his 64th birthday a few days after the appointment.
"Stephen knows the USGA very well," Padgett pointed out, "and he obviously knows all the resources of the resort very well. We've committed all those resources to him.
"His job is to coordinate the procedure of the tournament for us, and we think he'll do a great job because no one knows the two organizations to the degree he does. Between Stephen and General Chairman Ron Crow, the Amateur will go on as planned.
"The PCM basically ceased to exist when David left for Augusta National, and we're lucky to have Stephen in this role. He'll do a great job."
If dedication and commitment are prerequisites, Boyd appears to be the perfect man for the role.
"The learning curve is quite amazing," he said, "but I'm confident we can do the job well because we have the support of Tournament Director Ehren Link and the combined resources of the resort. I feel we're well-equipped to handle everything."
Boyd is also grateful for the jobs being handled by Crow and Volunteer Chairman Al Warren.
"We're fortunate to have 700 professional volunteers, and Ron and Al are both doing great jobs," he said. "Seven hundred doesn't sound like a lot compared to the 5,400 we had for the 2005 Open, but the logistics are obviously very different.
"We're expecting a lot of spectators to turn out to see the best amateur golfers in the world, but it won't be anything like an Open Championship. We won't have a merchandise facility, and the corporate hospitality is limited."
Despite the attention to the most minute of details, Boyd is somewhat wary of the unknowns.
"This opportunity is a new and exciting challenge for me," he said, "and while my approach to work has always been detail-oriented, I find myself in a bit of unfamiliar territory here. That being said, I accepted the assignment having been reassured that I could fully depend upon everyone here at the resort for their help, and I'm grateful for all the assistance and cooperation I'm receiving."
Boyd, who attended several U.S. Opens during the past decade in addition to the two at Pinehurst Resort, is familiar with the workings of the fastidious USGA.
"The USGA has been in for a number of site visits," he said. "Tim Flaherty, the Champion-ship Director for the USGA, will be here in early April for another meeting with Ron Crow and Al Warren."
Boyd enjoyed representing Pinehurst at the USGA's annual meeting in Houston a few weeks ago when he met former President George H.W. Bush.
"President Bush was there to accept the Bob Jones Award, and I gave him a pin commemorating the 2008 Amateur," Boyd said. "He even asked me to put the pin on his lapel.
"He reminded me that he had been to Pinehurst for the organizational meeting of The First Tee Chapter here and that he played the No. 2 Course."
Third Time Here
A field of 312 amateurs will converge on Pinehurst Aug. 18 for two rounds of qualifying on courses 2 and 4. The 64 lowest scores will advance to match play on the No. 2 Course, the famed Donald Ross layout that hosted the two U.S. Opens.
"I'm just honored that I was even considered for this assignment," Boyd said. "I know that we will make our community and the USGA proud that once again Pinehurst has been selected for one of its national championships."
This will be the third U.S. Men's Amateur to be played in Pinehurst. The first was in 1962 on the No. 2 Course when Labron Harris defeated Downing Gray 1-up.
The second was held at the Country Club of North Carolina in 1980 and won by Hal Sutton, who disposed of Bob Lewis 9 and 8.
Other former champions include Bob Jones, Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O'Meara, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, who won three consecutive titles.
Tickets for the Amateur are available by calling 235-8151 with packages ranging from Season Grounds for $50, books of four for $40 and daily grounds tickets for $15.
Children 17 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult, and all tickets include parking at the Small Harness Track.
For further information visit www.pinehurst.com/ 2008amateur.
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