The US Women’s Open has arrived at The Olympic Club in San Francisco and has brought with it an array of major storylines. Can Inbee Park continue her electric US Open form? How will Michelle Wie West fare in her major return? Will Lydia Ko continue her resurgence and return to the major winner’s circle?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: South Korean A Lim Kim shot three-under-par 281 at Champions Golf Club last year, defeating Jin Young Ko and Amy Olson by one shot to claim her maiden major title.
COURSE: The Lake Course at The Olympic Club opened in 1924 and was originally designed by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting. The club has hosted 11 previous USGA championships – including five US Opens and three US Amateurs – but this will be the first time it has welcomed one of the women’s events. The relatively short 5,904-metre Lake Course features no water hazards – despite its name – and there is only one fairway bunker in play off the tee, which can be found at the 6th hole.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Two-time US Women’s Open champion Inbee Park (2008 & 2013) has an incredibly impressive record at this championship, featuring over the weekend in 12 of her 14 appearances and scoring nine top-10s in the process.
The South Korean happens to be in excellent form, too, posting five consecutive top-15s, including three top-5s and her 21st LPGA Tour title at the Kia Classic in March.
The career Grand Slam winner – currently second in the world rankings – is clearly one of the most consistent golfers on the planet and should find herself thereabouts once again, as she continues the hunt for her eighth major title.
RIGHT: Kim claimed her maiden major title at this event last year. PHOTO: Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Top image: Jeff Marsh/USGA.
Former World No.1 Lydia Ko is experiencing an exciting resurgence that has seen her return to eighth in the world rankings, having dropped to as low as 55th in mid-2020.
The Korean-born Kiwi, who owns 16 LPGA Tour titles and two majors, is still only 24 years old and has never missed the cut at the Women’s US Open from nine previous appearances.
Ko shared 13th place at Champions Golf Club last year and will be eager to capitalise on her recent form by claiming her first major title since her ANA Inspiration victory in 2016.
Minjee Lee told Golf Australia magazine last year that, “The US Open is definitely my number one major and I would love to win that.”
The World No.12 arrives at The Olympic Club in fairly solid form, having shared fifth place at Shadow Creek during last week’s match play event.
Despite recording shares of 11th (2017) and 12th (2019) and making six of seven cuts, Lee has never really contended at this championship. But the 25-year-old Perth product will be keen as ever to break into the major winner’s circle in San Francisco this week.
72-HOLE RECORD: Two-time champion Juli Inkster won her first US Women’s Open in 1999, shooting 16-under-par 272 to defeat her American compatriot Sherri Turner by five shots.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Karrie Webb (2001 & 2000) and Jan Stephenson (1983).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Hannah Green, Sarah Kemp, Minjee Lee, Emily Mahar (a) and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 7:30am – 1pm)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 8am – 1pm)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 4am – 12pm)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 5am – 9am)
*AEST, check local guides