I'm heading off to the home of golf and while I would love to say I've read all of the U.S. Women's Open preview stories, I have not. But as I note in this week's Forward Press, the course should provide an entertaining setting and due to unforeseen circumstances, will get some of its best visibility ever thanks to no competing PGA Tour or European Tour event and a west coast, prime time finish.
But Ron Sirak's GolfDigest.com piece on Michelle Wie, winner at Pinehurst just two years ago is worth checking out.
But she is now winless in 50 LPGA starts since Pinehurst with 14 missed cuts and five WDs. One explanation for Wie’s inconsistency can be found in her health, where she’s had extremely bad luck. She’s had problems with her wrist, her back, her hips and her ankles. She also has multiple food allergies, which has complicated matters.
“It’s been a struggle this year,” Wie said. “But I still have half a year left and I’m just trying to get some confidence. I feel pretty good at the moment. I’m happy to come in here pain free.”
Wie remains a huge fan-favorite and is probably the woman who has moved the needle the most for women’s golf since Nancy Lopez almost 40 years ago. A winning Wie is good for golf.
Follow Ron for updates from the women's U.S. Open.
Here are a few highlights from the USGA media department's excellent table setter:
July 7-10, 2016
CordeValle, San Martin, Calif. (cordevalle.com)
www.twitter.com/USGA, #USWomensOpen; www.facebook.com/USGA; www.instagram.com/USGA
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP
This is the 71st U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
The first U.S. Women’s Open, played at Spokane (Wash.) Country Club in 1946, was the only one conducted at match play. The Women’s Professional Golfers Association (WPGA) conducted the inaugural championship, won by Patty Berg. The WPGA conducted the Women’s Open until 1949, when the newly formed Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) took over operation of the championship. The LPGA ran the Women’s Open for four years but in 1953 asked the United States Golf Association to conduct the championship, which it has done ever since.
The youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Open is Inbee Park, who won the 2008 championship at the age of 19 years, 11 months and 18 days. Babe Zaharias, who won the 1954 Women’s Open at age 43 years and 6 months, is the oldest winner.
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 U.S. Women’s Open. Six other amateurs, most recently Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel in 2005, have had runner-up or co-runner-up finishes.
Among the 156 golfers in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open, there are:
U.S. Women’s Open champions (9)
Na Yeon Choi (2012), In Gee Chun (2015), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007), Se Ri Pak (1998), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Karrie Webb (2000, 2001), Michelle Wie (2014)
U.S. Women’s Open runners-up (10)
Na Yeon Choi (2010), Cristie Kerr (2000), I.K. Kim (2013), Candie Kung (2009), Brittany Lang (2005), Stacy Lewis (2014), Se Ri Pak (2001), Suzann Pettersen (2010), Morgan Pressel (2005), Angela Stanford (2003), Amy Yang (2012, 2015)
U.S. Women’s Amateur champions (7)
Danielle Kang (2010, 2011), Lydia Ko (2012), Hannah O’Sullivan (2015), Jane Park (2004), Morgan Pressel (2005), Jennifer Song (2009), Mariajo Uribe (2007)
U.S. Women’s Amateur runners-up (7)
Sierra Brooks (2015), Jaye Marie Green (2012), Brooke Henderson (2014), Moriya Jutanugarn (2011), Jessica Korda (2010), Azahara Munoz (2008), Jane Park (2003)
U.S. Girls’ Junior champions (7)
Amy Anderson (2009), Julieta Granada (2004), Ariya Jutanugarn (2011), I.K. Kim (2005), Minjee Lee (2012), Jenny Shin (2006), Lexi Thompson (2008)
NCAA Division I champions (3)
Austin Ernst (2011, Louisiana State University), Stacy Lewis (2007, University of Arkansas), Azahara Munoz (2008, Arizona State University)
PLAYERS WITH MOST WOMEN’S OPEN APPEARANCES (2016 included)
Cristie Kerr (21), Karrie Webb (21), Catriona Matthew (20), Se Ri Pak (19), Angela Stanford (17), Candie Kung (15), Paula Creamer (14), Christina Kim (14), Maria McBride (14), Suzann Pettersen (14), Morgan Pressel (14), Brittany Lincicome (13), Michelle Wie (13), Karine Icher (12), Brittany Lang (12), Jane Park (12), I.K. Kim (11), Yani Tseng (11)
ACTIVE CONSECUTIVE U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN APPEARANCES (2016 included)
Karrie Webb (21, 1996-2016), Cristie Kerr (19, 1998-2016), Angela Stanford (17, 2000-16), Paula Creamer (14, 2003-16), Candie Kung (14, 2003-16), Suzann Pettersen (14, 2003-16), Brittany Lincicome (13, 2004-16), Morgan Pressel (12, 2005-16), Brittany Lang (12, 2005-16), I.K. Kim (11, 2006-16)
FIRST-TIME U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN COMPETITORS (44)
Sandra Angulo Minarro, Sierra Brooks, Hannah Burke, Liv Cheng, Chih-Min Chen, Ssu-Chia Cheng, Pei-Yun Chien, Yoon Ji Cho, Hye-Jin Choi, Allisen Corpuz, Olivia Cowan, Valentine Derrey, Julia Engstrom, Anna Hack, Erina Hara, Spencer Heller, Kotone Hori, Yu Sang Hou, Caroline Inglis, Taylor Kim, Naomi Ko, Jennifer Kupcho, Nicole Broch Larsen, Camilla Lennarth, Mika Liu, Yan Liu, Leona Maguire, Sung Hyun Park, Kasey Petty, Sophia Popov, Pamela Pretswell, Robynn Ree, Haeran Ryu, Madelene Sagstrom, Karah Sanford, Emi Sato, Chika Sawada, Jade Schaeffer, Erica Shepherd, Lauren Stephenson, Albane Valenzuela, Jing Yan, Julie Yang, Yunjie Zhang
COUNTRIES REPRESENTED IN THE FIELD (24)
Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United States of America
SPECIAL EXEMPTION FOR PAK
Se Ri Pak, of the Republic of Korea, received a special exemption into the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open. In March, Pak, 38, announced her intention to retire following the 2016 professional season. She plans to return to Korea and serve as an ambassador for the game of golf.
Pak’s 1998 U.S. Women’s Open victory at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., revolutionized women’s golf and sparked a cultural phenomenon. When Pak won the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open, she was the only Korean player on the LPGA Tour. Since then, countrywomen Birdie Kim (2005), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Na Yeon Choi (2012) and In Gee Chun (2015) have joined Pak as U.S. Women’s Open champions and more than two dozen players from Korea compete regularly on the LPGA Tour.
The USGA accepted 1,855 entries for the 71st U.S. Women’s Open. This marks the second consecutive year the U.S. Women’s Open has received more than 1,800 entries. The 2015 championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club holds the entry record with 1,873.
The 156-player field includes 93 fully exempt golfers and nine past Women’s Open champions. Sectional qualifying, conducted over 36 holes, was held at 25 sites between May 9 and June 3, four international (China, England, Japan, Korea) and 21 in the United States.