The final major of the year has arrived in the form of the 75th US Women’s Open. Who will etch their name on the Bud Semple Trophy at Champions Golf Club?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: South Korean Jeongeun Lee6 reached six-under-par 278 at the Country Club of Charleston last year, defeating So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson and Angel Yin by two shots to claim her maiden major title.
COURSES: Champions Golf Club, located in Houston, was founded in 1957 and boasts two courses: Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit. For the first time in US Women’s Open history, the championship will utilise both courses to account for reduced daylight. The 6,155-metre Cypress Creek layout opened in 1959 and was designed by Ralph Plummer, while the 5,997-metre Jackrabbit course was unveiled in 1964 and was the brainchild of George Fazio. The Cypress Creek course will be used exclusively for the weekend’s rounds. Both layouts at Champions Golf Club feature expansive greens.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Women’s PGA Championship winner Sei Young Kim arrives in Houston off the back of consecutive victories and is undoubtedly one of the key players this week.
The World No.2 hasn’t missed a cut all year – whether she’s been competing on the LPGA Tour or the Korean Tour during the height of the pandemic – and has amassed an impressive 10 top-20s from her 11 starts in 2020.
The 27-year-old South Korean has also made 26 of 29 cuts at the majors and recorded nine top-10s, including her victory at Aronimink Golf Club in October.
Over six years have now passed since Lexi Thompson won her first and only major title at the ANA Inspiration. Surely the American ace is due another victory.
The World No.11 was runner-up to Lee6 at this event last year and was T5 the year prior. She has also collected 16 top-10s at the majors and made 41 of 49 cuts.
Thompson, 25, hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since the Tour resumed from its coronavirus-enforced shutdown in July – but she has been extremely consistent, making seven of eight cuts and posting multiple top-20s.
RIGHT: Minjee Lee has labelled the US Women's Open her "number one major". PHOTO: Chuck Burton/Getty Images.
World No.8 Minjee Lee leads the Aussie charge in Houston this week and will once again set her sights on capturing that elusive major title.
The Perth product arrives in solid form – having won the Dubai Moonlight Classic on the Ladies European Tour five weeks ago and posting back-to-back top-20s since – and will be eager to perform at her favourite major.
“The US Open has always been the one,” Lee told Golf Australia magazine earlier this year.
“Ever since I was young and starting golf, that’s always been the tournament that I’ve wanted to win. I mean, outside of the Aussie Open and my sponsor events, anyway. But the US Open is definitely my number one major and I would love to win that.”
72-HOLE RECORD: American Juli Inkster shot 16-under-par 272 in 1999, defeating her compatriot Sherri Turner by five shots at Old Waverly Golf Club.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Karrie Webb (2001 & 2000) and Jan Stephenson (1983).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Hannah Green, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee, Su Oh, Gabi Ruffels (a) and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 2:30am – 10am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 10am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 10am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 9am)
*AEDT, check local guides