This will be the 30th consecutive U.S. Open I've covered, and it's neat that it happens to be in Pinehurst, N.C., on the wonderful No. 2 Course. This is not just a minor milestone for me as a golf journalist but a homecoming, too. I was born in Pinehurst and grew up in nearby Southern Pines. My parents hailed from Jackson Springs, a crossroads now but a popular destination in the early part of the 20th century because of the mineral water people sought for its restorative qualities. The Sandhills area has changed a lot since I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s -- more people, more chain stores -- but there are aspects that are timeless. As a native, when I go back I can find things that are very much the way they were. I returned recently to some familiar spots and -- for me -- some new ones to capture some scenes that you probably won't see on the national television broadcast of the Open. Then and now, it's a special place.