Thursday, July 5, 2012

U.S. Women's Open Preview

The U.S. Women's Open is one of my favorite golf tournaments of the year. It often gives us a chance to see courses that we don't see on the men's tour, and the fact that it's played in early July usually means we get some very dramatic weather.

This year's tournament starts today at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin (near Sheboygan, Wisconsin.) Blackwolf Run is a Pete Dye creation that initially opened in 1988, and which hosted the 1998 U.S. Women's Open. It's a very pretty course that runs through a river basin just a few miles from Lake Michigan. There is a lot of water and some really clever use of the landscaping. There are actually two 18-hole courses at Blackwolf Run, but for the Open the USGA has combined holes from each course to form the championship layout. Here is the course card, along with Pete Dye's somewhat cutesy name for each hole:

1. Quiver -- 348 yards, par 4
2. High Country -- 522 yards, par 5
3. Ledge Walk -- 455 yards, par 4
4. Chimney -- 341 yards, par 4
5. Nature's Course -- 409 yards, par 4
6. Mercy -- 200 yards, par 3
7. Rolling Thunder -- 590 yards, par 5
8. Maple Syrup -- 180 yards, par 3
9. Salmon Trap -- 395 yards, par 4
OUT: 3,440 yards, par 36

10. Snake -- 564 yards, par 5
11. Burial Mounds -- 375 yards, par 4
12. Gotcha -- 447 yards, par 4
13. Swan Lake -- 195 yards, par 3
14. Blind Alley -- 342 yards, par 4
15. The Sand Pit -- 372 yards, par 4
16. Unter Den Linden -- 602 yards, par 5
17. Snapping Turtle -- 172 yards, par 3
18. Dyehard -- 445 yards, par 4
IN: 3,514 yards, par 36

TOTAL: 6,954 yards, par 72

On the whole, I prefer courses that play at par 72 -- you don't have to watch so many repetitive par 4's, and there are more chances for birdies and eagles. I am also starting to prefer newer courses that were designed with modern equipment in mind -- they don't have to be tricked-up as much to make a stiff challenge.

Se Ri Pak won the 1998 U.S. Women's Open at Blackwolf Run. Here are the winners since that year, along with the course where the tournament was played:

1999: Juli Inkster (Old Waverly Golf Club, West Point, MS)
2000: Karrie Webb (AUS) (The Merit Club, Gurnee, IL)
2001: Karrie Webb (AUS) (Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Southern Pines, NC)
2002: Juli Inkster (Prairie Dunes Country Club, Hutchinson, KS)
2003: Hilary Lunke (Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, North Plains, OR)
2004: Meg Mallon (Orchards Golf Club, South Hadley, MA)
2005: Birdie Kim (KOR): (Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, CO)
2006: Annika Sorenstam (SWE): (Newport Country Club, Newport, RI)
2007: Cristie Kerr (Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Southern Pines, NC)
2008: Inbee Park (KOR) (Interlachen Country Club, Edina, MN)
2009: Eun-Hee Ji (KOR) (Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, PA)
2010: Paula Creamer (Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, PA)
2011: So Yeon Ryu (KOR) (The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO)

At the Heath Post, of course, we will be paying special attention to the performance of Miss Emma Talley of Princeton, Kentucky. She will tee off today at 2:09 P.M. CDT. This is her second appearance at the U.S. Women's Open -- last year she shot 75+77=152 and missed the cut. According to the USGA's biography of her, she was born in Paducah on March 24, 1994 and is 5' 9" tall. Her USGA biography lists a bunch of her golf honors, but also includes the following:

"Her grandpa was a huge influence in her life. No one else in her family plays golf, besides her."

My guess is that those sentences came directly from Miss Talley, as they sound very Western Kentucky to me. We wish her all the best.

58 comments:

  1. I like the fact that they've combined it to go back to the original course layout back in 1988.

    ReplyDelete
  2. J.B. Holmes, of Campbellsville, Kentucky, shot a 65 today at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia. He is in a tie for third place.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Miss Emma Talley will be starting on the 10th hole today. Her playing partners are Kyeong Bae, a 27-year-old pro from South Korea who finished 66th on the money list last year, and Angela Oh, a 23-year-old pro from Maple Shade, New Jersey (in the Philadelphia suburbs) who played golf for the University of Tennessee, and who has only made two cuts this year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. At the Greenbrier Classic, Kenny Perry is two under through sixth holes.

    J.B. Holmes, who is finished for the day, is tied for fourth, only two shots behind the leader, Vijay Singh.

    Tiger Woods shot a one-over-par 71 and is tied for 104th.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's what I would've gotten for lunch today at the Blackwolf Run Restaurant:

    Five Mushroom and Tomato Melt
    mixture of five-roasted mushrooms, tomato, Swiss cheese, Blackwolf Run Aioli
    served on 9-grain bread
    $9.50

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd go with the Caesar salad ($9) and a single Blackwolf Run Burger ($10).

      Delete
  6. Talley birdies the first hole of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. At the Greenbrier Classic, Kenny Perry is 2 under through 11.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lexi Thompson, the 17-year-old wunderkind from Coral Springs, Florida who is the youngest player ever to win an LPGA event, is in the clubhouse with a two-under par 70, which puts her in a tie for the lead.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Coverage of the U.S. Women's Open has now started on ESPN2.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Talley is now going to play 12 and 13, these two holes are playing as the 2nd and 4th hardest holes of the day so far. Hopefully she'll head onto 14 still at -1.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 2010 Champion Paula Creamer shot a one-over par 73.

    ReplyDelete
  12. After stacking the groups for television for the men's US Open, why would the USGA put Lexi Thompson to finish before the TV coverage began?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Paula Creamer. And Morgan Pressel (who shot a 74). Presumably we'll see them play tomorrow afternoon.

      Delete
    2. Cheyenne Woods is already finished as well.

      Delete
  13. ESPN2 reports that it's 92 degrees at Blackwolf Run today, with a humidity of 50 percent. At least Miss Emma Talley should know how to play in those conditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's streaming on http://espn.go.com as well.

      Delete
  14. Two other players are in with two-under par 70's: Beatriz Recari of Spain and Ai Miyazato of Japan.

    The 1998 Champ, Se Ri Pak, shot an even-par 72.

    Last year's champion, So Yeon Ryu, shot a two-over 74.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A double bogey on the 12th has Talley to +1.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Here's what's happened since we last checked in on the LPGA. Yani Tseng of Taiwan won the British Open last year, for her fifth major championship. She only needs to capture the U.S. Open to have a career grand slam. Earlier this year, the first two majors of 2012 went to Sun-Young Yoo (of South Korea), who won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and Shanshan Feng (of China), who won the LPGA Championship.

    The last American woman to win a major tournament was Stacy Lewis, who won the 2011 Kraft Nabisco.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The play today seems to be incredibly slow, I hope Talley is a patient player.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Three hours and counting on Emma Talley's round ... still hasn't quite made the turn.

      Delete
  18. We just got our first glimpse of Talley and she's in good position for a shot at birdie on 13.

    ReplyDelete
  19. She parred 13 so she heads into 14 and 15 sitting OK at +1. 15 is a must birdie hole as it is playing under par today.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here are the women who have won the most major tournaments since 1980:

    Annika Sorenstam (SWE): 10
    Juli Inkster: 7
    Karrie Webb (AUS): 7
    Patty Sheehan: 6
    Pat Bradley: 6
    Amy Alcott: 5
    Se Ri Pak (KOR): 5
    Yani Tseng (TAI): 5

    Note: Lorena Ochoa (MEX), who won two majors and 25 other LPGA events, retired in 2010 when she was only 28 years old. Annika Sorenstam (SWE) retired at the age of 38 (Jack Nicklaus won three majors after turning 39.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. At the Greenbrier Classic, Kenny Perry is at even par through 15 holes.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I got pulled away for a bit but I came back to see that Talley went through 14 and 15 at even, that will be a bit of a disappointment. She still sits at +1.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Talley goes into 17 and 18 still sitting at +1. 18 is playing as the 2nd toughest hole on the course so far today.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Talley closes out her front nine at even par. The front has been playing easier so she's in good position.

    ReplyDelete
  25. At the Greenbrier Classic, Kenny Perry is in a tie for 63d place after shooting an even-par 70. He's one shot ahead of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who are part of a group tied for 88th place.

    J.B. Holmes is in a tie for 5th, only two shots off the lead.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Eric, didn't you and Matthew visit Wisconsin at some point? Did you get anywhere near Sheboygan?

    ReplyDelete
  27. On ESPN2, they're talking about how one player has already been punished today for slow play. One of the commentators -- I think it was Judy Rankin -- just claimed that women play slower than men because they're more polite to their playing partners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure it's that the men pay cash on their side bets after each hole while all the women have to take the time to write checks.

      Delete
  28. Talley pars the first hole, her 10th and still sits at even par. The second hole is playing as the easiest hole of the day so far, so she'll be looking for birdie.

    ReplyDelete
  29. On ESPN2, they just said that Lizette Salas (who's 2 under par through 15 holes) hates to fly, so she and her dad drove from last week's tournament in Arkansas up to Wisconsin.

    They acted like she was nuts, but I bet that was a fun drive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For Pete's sake, it would take longer to get through the airports and fly.

      Delete
  30. Talley still sitting even after the 2nd hole, her 11th of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lizette Salas, probably still thinking about her drive up the Mississippi River, birdies the last hole to finish with a three-under par 69. That's the low round of the day so far.

    Jennie Lee birdies her last hole (the 9th) to finish with a two-under par 70.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Talley is still at even with five holes to play.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Lizette Salas now being interviewed on ESPN2. She clarifies that she and her family drove from California to Arkansas for one tournament, and then drove from Arkansas to Wisconsin for this one. She said, as I expected, that they had a great time.

    I wonder where they go next, and how they would drive from Wisconsin to California.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Meanwhile, my 3-year-old daughter and I are playing KerPlunk. Will advise as events warrant.

    ReplyDelete
  35. ESPN2's coverage is going off the air. World Series of Poker coming up next.

    Miss Emma Talley is at even par through her first 14 holes. She's currently tied for 15th.

    ReplyDelete
  36. On their "Sideline Show" podcast, the WPSD sports guys speculate on Miss Talley's chances of making the cut this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  37. She's scheduled to tee at 8:39 Central this morning, on No. 1.

    ReplyDelete