U.S. Women's Open Hits Long Island
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/27/13
The 68th playing of the U.S. Women's Open Championship began this morning at Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island and is notable not just because it is a major and the national championship of the United States, but also because of the setting and the contestants.

Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other?

In today's golf architecture landscape, you would be very hard-pressed to find two architects and designers as different as Tom Doak and Jack Nicklaus. Doak has become famous and revered for his cerebral, "traditionalist" approach to architecture, exemplified by Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald at Bandon, Oregon; Barnbougle Dunes in Australia, and Ballyneal in northeastern Colorado. Most of Jack Nicklaus's designs have been thoroughly designed and highly sculpted courses influenced by his experiences in an extraordinary professional career. But the developers of Sebonack brought the two together, and they were able to collaborate on a traditionalist design that features Nicklaus's influences around the greens.

The Favorite

  • Inbee Park is arguably the best putter in all of professional golf at the moment. Her calm and deliberate manner, combined with an extremely solid overall game and her dominance on the greens have won her the first two majors of the 2013 season — the Kraft Nabisco and the LPGA Championship. The statistical probability of winning three majors is generally very slim and requires that a player be totally on top of his or her game.

    Right now, that describes Park to a "T". And in addition to the season's first two majors, IBP has also won in Thailand, the North Texas Shootout, and the NW Arkansas Championship just last week.

The Contenders

  • Suzanne Pettersen: The 2007 LPGA Championship winner basically expects the worst at the U.S. Open, as she told reporters on Wednesday:
    "I usually always judge how they set up the course (based on) how the men's U.S. Open has been played a couple of weeks prior. Having seen that [at Merion], I expect the worst so everything else will be a treat.

    "I assume the hard holes will be playing hard, and the shorter, easy holes, they'll kind of let us have a go at. That's kind of how I prepare."
    Pettersen also won the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii back in April. Nobody can say that she's slumping.

  • Paula Creamer: Sure, she hasn't won on the LPGA Tour since 2010, but that win was at the U.S. Women's Open at a notoriously difficult course: Oakmont. Furthermore, the Pink Panther has always finished the U.S. Open in the top 20 since turning professional.

  • Stacy Lewis: Unless something catastrophic happens with her back, Lewis can be expected to compete at the majors. The 2011 Kraft/"Dinah" champion has two wins already this season — the HSBC in Thailand and the RR Donnelley in Arizona.

  • Cristie Kerr: The 2007 Women's Open champion won earlier this year at Kingsmill. But Sebonack is already a familiar destination for Kerr, who lives part-time in New York for travel purposes, so she has played this course many times already. That familiarity may bring an unusual level of comfort to the two-time major champion.

Amateur Hour

  • Annie Park: The Long Island native also has played Sebonack numerous times, which helps greatly. But she also brings a solid game to the 2013 Women's Open; as a member of the University of Southern California women's golf team, she won the Pac-12 Championship, the NCAA Division I West Regional, and the NCAA Championship, all in consecutive weeks.

  • Lydia Ko: Not only did the South Korean-born New Zealander win the 2012 Women's New South Wales Open in January, but in August, she won the Canadian Women's Open outside Vancouver. The top-ranked female amateur golfer in the world (no surprise), she has made the cut in all 14 professional tournaments she has entered. And while her best finishes in the majors have been a T-17 and Low Amateur at last year's British Women's Open and at the LPGA Championship a couple of weeks ago, she obviously as a flair for dramatic, positive results. As such, Ko cannot be completely ruled out as a possible contender at Sebonack.

Oobers, your predictions, please.

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Image via USWomensOpen.com

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Interesting thing I learned recently about Pettersen--she is known to her family and friends as Tutta. So, my thinking is, her mama call her Tutta, imma call her Tutta.

Also Tor you spelled Cristie Kerr wrong. Not that there's anything wrong with that, because that's what people get for using a rogue spelling of their name. Also because she is a biatch.
Torleif Sorenson says:
  1. Spelling error corrected. (Rats!)

  2. Call her Tutta if you want - just don't ask me to explain Scandinavian nicknames.

  3. I have the gut feeling that this Open to go to a playoff.
slimpks1850 says:
Hope this is a good one - should be. A playoff would be great.
mmontisano says:
the course looks amazing. I'm hoping for a Park vs Lewis duel in the sun kind of moment.
falcon50driver says:
Speaking of rogue spelling of names. Remember the football player Haywood Jeffires? The announcers always pronounced it JEFF REES, It's actually spelled JEFF I REZ, or JEFF FIRES. Looks like someone just couldnt spell Jeffries.
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