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BlogWomen’s Open Preview and Picks

U.S. Women’s Open

June 19 – 22, 2014

Pinehurst Resort (Course #2)

Pinehurst, N.C.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 6,649

Purse: $3.25 million

with $585,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Inbee Park

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 41 of the top 50 in the latest Official Rolex World Rankings:  All of the top-25 are in the field: (1) Stacy Lewis, (2) Inbee Park, (3) Lydia Ko, (4) Suzann Pettersen, (5) Karrie Webb, (6) Lexi Thompson, (7) Shanshan Feng, (8) So Yeon Ryu, (9) Anna Nordqvist, (10) Cristie Kerr, (11) Michelle Wie, (12) Lizette Salas, (13) Paula Creamer, (14) Catriona Matthew, (15) Na Yeon Choi, (16) Jessica Korda, (17) Angela Stanford, (18) Azahara Munoz, (19) Ha Na Jang, (20) Amy Yang, (21) Sun Ju Ahn, (22) Chella Choi, (23) I.K. Kim, (24) Hee Young Park, (25) Se-Ri Pak.  There are 16 of the next 25 in the field; (26) Gerina Piller, (28) Caroline Hedwall, (30) Karine Icher, (31) Pornanong Phatlum, (32) Sei Young Kim, (35) Beatriz Recari, (38) Morgan Pressel, (39) Jenny Shin, (41) Mika Miyazato, (43) Teresa Lu, (44) Jennifer Johnson, (45) Sakura Yokomine, (46) Sandra Gal, (47) Yani Tseng, (48) Ai Miyazato, (49) Meena Lee

The field includes 25 players in the top 25 on this year’s LPGA Tour money list.

The field includes all the players that have won 14 events on the LPGA Tour this year: Jessica Korda (Pure Silk Bahamas & Airbus LPGA Classic), Karrie Webb (Women’s Australian Open & JTBC Founders Cup), Anna Nordqvist (Honda LPGA Thailand & Kia Classic), Paula Creamer (HSBC Women’s Championship), Lexi Thompson (Kraft Nabisco), Michelle Wie (LPGA Lotte Championship), Lydia Ko (swinging Skirts), Stacy Lewis (North Texas LPGA Shootout & ShopRite LPGA Classic), Lizette Salas (Kingsmill Championship) and Inbee Park (Manulife Financial)

The field includes ten past champions: Inbee Park (2013), Na Yeon Choi (2012), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Inbee Park (2008), Cristie Kerr (2007), Birdie Kim (2005), Juli Inkster (2002 & ’99), Karrie Webb (2001, ’00), Se Ri Pak (1997) and Laura Davies (1987).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the U.S. Women’s Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through our sortable 8-year glance at the U.S. Women’s Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the U.S. Women’s Open

Player Manulife Financial ShopRite Classic Airbus LPGA Kingsmill Champ. North Texas Swinging Skirts LPGA Lotte Kraft Nabisco KIA Classic JTBC Founders
Stacy Lewis
(434.67 pts)
6
(60)
Win
(132)
10
(26.67)
12
(25.33)
Win
(44)
2
(33.33)
DNP 3
(60)
T6
(20)
T2
(33.33)
Michelle Wie
(326.67 pts)
6
(60)
23
(27)
3
(60)
DNP 3
(30)
T9
(15)
Win
(44)
2
(66.67)
T16
(11.33)
T12
(12.67)
Inbee Park
(285.33 pts)
Win
(132)
8
(50)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 14
(12)
T4
(26.67)
3
(30)
38
(8)
T6
(20)
T10
(13.33)
Anna Nordqvist
(278 pts)
10
(40)
3
(90)
2
(66.67)
23
(18)
DNP T66
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T16
(22.67)
Win
(44)
T68
(0)
Cristie Kerr
(254 pts)
2
(100)
52
(0)
DNP 29
(14)
6
(20)
T9
(15)
T9
(15)
T4
(53.33)
5
(23.33)
T10
(13.33)
Lexi Thompson
(248.33 pts)
DNP 66
(0)
7
(36.67)
2
(66.67)
6
(20)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
3
(30)
T29
(7)
Shanshan Feng
(235 pts)
3
(90)
8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T13
(12.33)
6
(40)
T16
(11.33)
T36
(4.67)
Lydia Ko
(226 pts)
4
(80)
48
(2)
DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP Win
(44)
T32
(6)
T29
(14)
T61
(0)
T2
(33.33)
Azahara Munoz
(203.67 pts)
DNP 8
(50)
34
(10.67)
8
(33.33)
34
(5.33)
T15
(11.67)
T22
(9.33)
T7
(36.67)
T10
(13.33)
T2
(33.33)
Chella Choi
(201.67 pts)
8
(50)
19
(31)
14
(24)
41
(6)
14
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
T5
(23.33)
T16
(22.67)
4
(26.67)
T22
(9.33)
Gerina Piller
(172.33 pts)
35
(15)
3
(90)
DNP 23
(18)
45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T53
(0)
T11
(26)
T10
(13.33)
T15
(11.67)
Jennifer Johnson
(168 pts)
24
(26)
3
(90)
15
(23.33)
12
(25.33)
12
(12.67)
T49
(0.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(0.33)
Suzann Pettersen
(162.67 pts)
8
(50)
13
(37)
26
(16)
12
(25.33)
6
(20)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(7)
So Yeon Ryu
(152.67 pts)
10
(40)
CUT
(-10)
10
(26.67)
5
(46.67)
DNP T35
(5)
T5
(23.33)
T46
(2.67)
T55
(0)
T7
(18.33)
Jenny Shin
(152 pts)
DNP 33
(17)
6
(40)
29
(14)
12
(12.67)
3
(30)
T27
(7.67)
T39
(7.33)
15
(11.67)
T15
(11.67)
Na Yeon Choi
(146 pts)
14
(36)
13
(37)
26
(16)
DNP 4
(26.67)
T62
(0)
T17
(11)
T16
(22.67)
T61
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Julieta Granada
(143 pts)
20
(30)
7
(55)
15
(23.33)
DNP 19
(10.33)
T41
(3)
T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T10
(13.33)
T43
(2.33)
Catriona Matthew
(143 pts)
15
(35)
38
(12)
3
(60)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T21
(9.67)
DNP T11
(26)
T39
(3.67)
73
(0)
Karrie Webb
(136.33 pts)
DNP 8
(50)
48
(1.33)
55
(0)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T11
(26)
T25
(8.33)
Win
(44)
Meena Lee
(134.33 pts)
15
(35)
8
(50)
39
(7.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
2
(33.33)
T49
(0.33)
T42
(2.67)
T55
(0)
T16
(11.33)
T47
(1)
Hee Young Park
(131.67 pts)
10
(40)
23
(27)
26
(16)
29
(14)
CUT
(-3.33)
T18
(10.67)
T53
(0)
T26
(16)
T16
(11.33)
T58
(0)
Lizette Salas
(123.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(88)
CUT
(-3.33)
T49
(0.33)
T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
2
(33.33)
T12
(12.67)
Jessica Korda
(119 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
Win
(88)
37
(8.67)
T59
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
Mina Harigae
(108.67 pts)
DNP 13
(37)
34
(10.67)
8
(33.33)
25
(8.33)
T21
(9.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T67
(0)
T25
(8.33)
T36
(4.67)
Belen Mozo
(107 pts)
4
(80)
52
(0)
10
(26.67)
75
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T73
(0)
T19
(10.33)
Karine Icher
(104.33 pts)
24
(26)
23
(27)
26
(16)
DNP 25
(8.33)
T9
(15)
DNP T46
(2.67)
T55
(0)
T22
(9.33)
Pornanong Phatlum
(99 pts)
DNP DNP 19
(20.67)
8
(33.33)
19
(10.33)
T21
(9.67)
T42
(2.67)
T39
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
Angela Stanford
(95.67 pts)
15
(35)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
29
(14)
T52
(0)
DNP 2
(33.33)
T7
(36.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Eun-Hee Ji
(92.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
7
(36.67)
45
(3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T15
(11.67)
T17
(11)
T29
(14)
T6
(20)
T22
(9.33)
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
(89.67 pts)
DNP 19
(31)
7
(36.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
30
(6.67)
T41
(3)
DNP T39
(7.33)
T43
(2.33)
T22
(9.33)
Se Ri Pak
(89 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
19
(20.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T9
(15)
T4
(53.33)
T6
(20)
T58
(0)
Haeji Kang
(84 pts)
CUT
(-10)
3
(90)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
T13
(12.33)
T67
(0)
T51
(0)
T25
(8.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Paula Creamer
(81 pts)
DNP 23
(27)
15
(23.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T35
(5)
T71
(0)
T34
(10.67)
T16
(11.33)
T19
(10.33)
Brittany Lang
(71.67 pts)
59
(0)
33
(17)
34
(10.67)
12
(25.33)
30
(6.67)
T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T55
(0)
T29
(7)
Amy Yang
(68.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP 68
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T22
(9.33)
10
(26.67)
T43
(2.33)
T2
(33.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the U.S. Women’s Open

Player Manulife Financial ShopRite Classic Airbus LPGA Kingsmill Champ. North Texas Swinging Skirts LPGA Lotte Kraft Nabisco KIA Classic JTBC Founders
Rebecca Lee-Bentham
(-46.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T61
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Lisa McCloskey
(-36 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
60
(0)
50
(0.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T66
(0)
T53
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Erica Popson
(-33 pts)
76
(0)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(0.33)
Maria Hernandez
(-33 pts)
59
(0)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Irene Coe
(-31.67 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T60
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jacqui Concolino
(-30 pts)
51
(0)
CUT
(-10)
55
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Brianna Do
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Kristy McPherson
(-30 pts)
55
(0)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
68
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T66
(0)
Moriya Jutanugarn
(-26.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
71
(0)
48
(1.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T68
(0)
T60
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
Sandra Changkija
(-23 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 66
(0)
66
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

One down and one to go.  The men’s U.S. Open was a big success at Pinehurst, not only with a great championship but no hitches.  The USGA dodge some bullets with storms on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, only getting about an inch of rain on Thursday.  So the good news is that the course will be in perfect shape for the Women this week.

Now the question will be the weather in the coming week.  That could be a bit of bad news and it’s going to be very hot and steamy.  It’s predicted to be 98 degrees on Thursday for the opening round.  The chances of rain increase each day and you would have to think with all of the heat and steamy weather you may have a pop-up shower or two.  Also of concern will be the greens.  Right now they are green, I can’t remember the last U.S. Open in which the greens were green on Monday, but for this week it will be.

The big buzz will be if the Women will find Pinehurst as charming and playable as the men.  There was no question that everyone of the 156 that played in the U.S. Open thought that Pinehurst was a great site and that all of the renovation to bring the course back to the way it was in the 30s was a big success.  So on paper it should be a slam-dunk for the women, but we will have to wait and see, conditions will dictate what the response of the 156 women are.

U.S. Women’s Open Championship information:

The U.S. Women’s Open was added to the USGA’s roster of championships in 1953, 58 years after the first U.S. Women’s Amateur. The reason for the USGA’s relatively late assumption of the Women’s Open is simple: women’s professional golf is fairly new. When Opal Hill turned professional in 1938, she and Helen Hicks were two of the very few women golf profes- sionals in the world. Unlike the other 12 national championships conducted by the USGA, the Women’s Open was created by another organization. In 1946, the short-lived Women’s Professional Golfers Association introduced the Women’s Open at match play at the Spokane (Wash.) Country Club. The Spokane Athletic Round Table, a men’s fraternal organization, contributed the $19,700 purse from its slot machines proceeds.

The first Women’s Open was the only one conducted at match play. Patty Berg won the 36-hole qualifying medal in 1946, with rounds of 72-73-145, then won the championship by defeating Betty Jameson, 5 and 4, in the 36-hole final.

The small membership of the WPGA ran the championship for three years. By 1949, however, women’s professional golf was making significant strides and the Ladies Professional Golf Association was founded. A group of 11 women, including Berg, Jameson, Louise Suggs and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, established the new association to provide organized tourna- ments for women professionals. The LPGA ran the Women’s Open for four years, but in 1953 asked the USGA to conduct the championship. The first Women’s Open under the USGA flag was played at the Country Club of Rochester, in upstate New York, where Betsy Rawls won the second of her four Women’s Open titles (1951, 1953, 1957, 1960).

Conducted by the USGA ever since, the Women’s Open is the oldest championship open to women professionals and ama- teurs. Rawls and Mickey Wright, the only other four-time winner (1958, 1959, 1961, 1964) were the championship’s domi- nant players from 1957 through 1964, winning six Women’s Opens between them during those eight years. In 1967, Catherine Lacoste, daughter of French tennis player Rene Lacoste and 1927 British Ladies Amateur Champion Simone Thion de la Chaume, became the only amateur to win the Women’s Open.

In its 68-year history, the U.S. Women’s Open has reigned as the world’s greatest women’s championship, attracting steadily increasing numbers of entries and spectators. Whereas only

37 contestants played in 1953, in 1976 the field jumped to 205 players and sectional qualifying was introduced. In 2001, a record 980 contestants entered. A four-day attendance record of 41,200 was set in 1979 at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn. At the 50th Women’s Open, in 1995, that record was more than doubled at The Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In recent years, the U.S. Women’s Open has truly become the world arena of women’s golf. Since 1990, 11 champion- ships have been won by foreign-born players, whereas only three of the first 41 champions were foreign-born. The emer- gence of the Women’s Open as a great international contest came in 1987, when England’s Laura Davies prevailed in an 18-hole playoff against Japan’s Ayako Okamoto and JoAnne Gunderson Carner of the United States. Another foreign-born player, Annika Sorenstam, of Sweden, established the 72-hole scoring record of 272, 8-under par, at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in 1996. Juli Inkster, an American professional, matched that 72-hole score of 272, also setting a record in relation to par at 16 under, in 1999.

In 1965, the final round of the championship was televised nationally for the first time. The Women’s Open has been televised ever since, with all four rounds now broadcast.

In 2002, qualifying for the Women’s Open was held in two stages for the first time — 18 holes for local qualifying and 36 holes for sectional qualifying. Since 2010, there has been one stage — a 36-hole sectional qualifier.

A three-hole aggregate score playoff to immediately follow the end of regulation play was adopted in 2007. It was first used in 2011, when Korea’s So Yeon Ryu defeated countrywoman Hee Kyung Seo.

 

Course information:

  • Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (#2 course)
  • Pinehurst, N.C.
  • 6,649 yards     Par 35-35–70

 

We talked a lot about Pinehurst last week.  It’s going to be the same course as last week, minus 900 yards.  On Sunday Mike Davis, Executive Director of the USGA talked about what they were trying to accomplish for the coming week, almost the same conditions on the course as the men had and he was hoping that with all of their research and thought, that the Women would be hitting into greens the same club as the men did.  Now of course Stacy Lewis doesn’t hit an 8-iron 160 yards as Martin Kaymer, but the USGA has moved the tees enough so that while Kaymer may of had an 8-iron into one from 165 yards, Lewis will have an 8-iron but from 140 yards.

On paper wonderful, we will see how it works.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the U.S. Open:

  • Just like last week the keys are simple, hit lots of greens and putt well.  Kaymer was pretty good at this, but as Mike Davis said the key to Kaymer’s victory was the ability to think his way around the course.  Kaymer was never in any real trouble.  After making only one bogey in the first and second rounds, he made five on Saturday and only three on Sunday.  That’s a total of just nine bogeys which is pretty low.
  • Also for the women, the short game will be the key.  A lot of the women, especially those from Asia have never seen conditions like you get at Pinehurst in which you have greens that angle the balls to roll off into collection areas.  Kaymer did a lot of putting from off the greens, will the woman pick up on that and do the same?  Also it will be interesting to see the women’s touch around the greens.  Again the difference between what they see on the LPGA Tour and this week is the difference between night and day.  So we will see how they do.
  • One last thing, be sure to see our who’s hot and who’s not list.  This will be important to getting a winner.

 

Who to watch for at the U.S. Women’s Open

Best Bets:

Stacy Lewis

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T42 T46 T34 T14 T48 T3 CUT

hard to believe that she has only had one top-ten, way back in 2008. I think that this is the year she breaks out of her Women’s Open funk, she is too good of a player not to win.

Michelle Wie

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
WD T35 T55 CUT CUT WD T3 T23 T13 T39

Probably the second hottest player on the LPGA Tour, she has the skills to win, just question her putter which may hamper her.

Inbee Park

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win T9 T6 T8 T26 Win T4 CUT

Has won this twice before and won last week in Canada. The big question will she be able to handle all of the twists and rolls that are association with Pinehurst.

Best of the rest:

So Yeon Ryu

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
3 T14 Win T25

Seems to do well in this championship, has played well of late finishing in the top-ten in four of her last six cuts.

Lydia Ko

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T36 T39

Could she be the next Annika? Many say yes we will get a taste of her this week to see if she can improve upon her two previous poor showings in the Women’s Open.

Catriona Matthew

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T15 CUT T21 CUT T17 T16 19 T31 19 T22 T22

Never count her out, only problem she really hasn’t played very well in the Women’s Open, hard to believe just two top-tens in 16 starts. So why go with her? The course, it’s like some of the places she plays in Scotland.

Suzann Pettersen

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T9 T15 T2 T6 T13 CUT T28 T52 T16 T10

Don’t think she is 100% because of the injury. Still she is good and could win at Pinehurst, if healthy.

Solid contenders

Paula Creamer

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T4 T7 T15 Win T6 T6 T16 T16 T19 T13 CUT

Has been searching for a game in the last month, don’t know if she can find it for this week.

Lexi Thompson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T13 T14 CUT T10 T34 CUT CUT

Played well early, her last start was 66th at Shoprite. She could sneak up and easily win this.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T4

Did finish T-4th in her Women’s Open debut last year, has had some encouraging finishes this year.

I.K. Kim

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
2 CUT T10 4 T3 T3 T61 CUT

Probably the best record of any player at the Women’s Open, without a victory.

Long shots that could come through:

Karrie Webb

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T13 T50 T6 T17 T34 T38 CUT T37 T31 T16 CUT CUT

Just wonder how a two time champion would be a long shot, Karrie is in the sunset of her career and may not have the energy to play well for 72 holes.

Shanshan Feng

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9 T4 T42 CUT T48 CUT CUT

Has been playing well of late.

Gerina Piller

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T31 T50

Has a background of playing well on course like Pinehurst.

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