Last weekend fans descended on Pinehurst, NC. A small town about 30 minutes West of Fayetteville. 35 minutes from my humble abode. Entering the mens U.S. Open last weekend, the talk was on Phil Mickelson but he never came close to claiming the major tournament. Instead, Germany’s Martin Kaymer took the prize by eight strokes. Pinehurst’s beautiful course number two was anything but for the men last weekend. The women hope to see a far better course this week as Pinehurst serves as the hosting course for the LPGA U.S. Open.
Pinehurst will be no easy task for the ladies but will also be no less exciting. The women will face the vaunted number 2 course, same as the men but with a par of 72 instead of the men’s 70. The women have two extra par-5′s. It is the first time in history that both the men and women’s U.S. Open Championship have been played back to back at the same course. In fact many of this weeks entrants were on hand last weekend to watch the men and get a read for the course.
Eyes will be on a very gifted group of LPGA women. Last years winner Inbee Park has been in Pinehurst for over a week. She is also the winner of the last LPGA tour event two weeks ago. At Pinehurst however, as we have learned, holds no favors for those who are favorites. Park is seeking to be the first female back to back Open winner since Karrie Webb won back to back opens in 2000 and 2001.
Park won’t be the only one being watched by thousands of fans. Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak and Julie Inkster will have a say in who wins this weekends event. So will number one world ranked Stacy Lewis who knocked Park from the spot three weeks ago in Alabama. It would be fitting to see Lewis and Park in the final pairing come Sunday.
With a field that includes 26 amateurs, the women’s U.S. Open should be as entertaining as the mens, if not more. I actually expect the latter. Full coverage begins on Thursday on The Golf Channel and NBC.