07/08/2015

The second major of the LPGA schedule begins this week. It’s US Women’s Open week, this week from Pennsylvania and Lancaster Country Club.

After problems with the U.S. Open for men played at Chambers Bay at University Place, Washington, one can expect tournament organizers and the USGA to have the course at Lancaster Country Club looking more like a traditional U.S. Open.

The event will feature a world-class field and one of the most prestigious atmospheres in all of female golf.

(PS All of us in South Dakota will be pulling for SD native Kim Kaufman. Go Kim!)

kim kaufman

Course

Lancaster Country Club is an undulating, lush, tree-lined course designed by William Flynn, who also crafted two more legendary courses that have hosted the U.S. Open Merion and Shinnecock. The rough is high and the course playing soft. That means the 6,460 yards will look and feel longer as the ball will not roll out as far.

Cristie Kerr described the course as old school and very classic. The former U.S. Open champion called the course tough, but not unfair. It will crown a proper champion at the end of the week.

Defending U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie agrees with Kerr. She said the course was in great shape with challenging holes, but holes you can also make birdie on.

Screenshot 2015-07-08 09.44.33

Past US Women’s Open Champions

  • Wie won the U.S. Open in 2014 at Pinehurst in North Carolina with a 2-under 278.
  • The year prior to Wie winning, South Korea’s Inbee Park was victorious at Sebonack in Southampton, New York.
  • In 2012, Na Yeon Choi from South Korea won at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin.
  • In 2011, yet another South Korean won, with So Yeon Ryu taking the title at Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado.
  • An American won in 2010, as Paula Creamer conquered Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania, right up the road.

Odds makers have Inbee Park as the favorite, followed closely by Lydia Ko, Hyo Joo Kim and Stacy Lewis.

Picks for the US Women’s Open

Contenders

Michelle Wie

michelle wie

Hard to not select Michelle Wie this week, given the strengths of her game and status as the defending champion.

Read this article about Michelle Wie “Redefining Success” here

Wie this season, has had an injury that has forced her to adjust and overhaul her swing heading into the event, but she’s so talented its hard to imagine her missing the cut. I see Wie in contention. She will be playing under pressure as the microscope will be fixated on her, but she’s used to it.

Stacy Lewis

Stacy Lewis

She was the runner up to Wie last season at Pinehurst. The 3rd ranked player in the world, Lewis has two majors to her credit. Her last two starts have been top-15s. She’s undoubtedly a favorite heading into the week. Her putter, as it is every week, will be her key club.

She was in contention at the ANA Inspiration in early April, an event won by Brittany Lincicome.

Cristie Kerr

cristie kerr

She’s a veteran who can never be counted out at a major, especially the U.S. Open.

Historically one of the better putters on the LPGA Tour, Kerr is a 17-time winner on Tour with a US Open to her name already in 2007. Top-10s in two of her last three events bode well for her to have a strong week in Pennsylvania.

Lydia Ko

lydia ko

She has not played exceptionally well since her torrid start, but she absolutely could surprise.

Wait, surprise? Yes, surprise. Remember, although it feels like she’s been around forever, she’s never won a major championship. She’s still seeking her first. For one of the world’s most dominant players, never count her out.

 

Sleeper

Anna Nordqvist anna nordqvist With the course playing long, Anna Nordqvist might surprise many. She is long and the course could play to her game nicely. She is a winner of 5 LPGA events, but never finished in the top-10 at an Open. That would make her a sleeper and one who is playing off success early in her season. Keep an eye on Anna…

Winner

Inbee Park inbee park

She’s the LPGA’s most dominant, underrated superstar. She doesn’t get the credit she deserves for the play she puts up. She’s as comfortable in her own skin as anyone on the LPGA Tour. The world’s most decorated golfer at 26 should have more hiccups, but it’s been documented how well Park handles the pressure.

The two-time 2015 winner and 6-time major championship is almost impossible to pick against this week and although I find it to be a boring selection, I feel its the right one.

She’s so good.


Have fun this week watching from Lancaster CC!