Nine Australasians to tee it up at US Women's Open
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2003 US Women's Open | Preview | 28 Jun 2003
The US Women’s Open gets under way on Thursday July 3rd at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course in Beaverton, Oregon and when it does, nine Australasians will be teeing it up.
Players who did not have to endure the qualifying process are Karrie Webb, Rachel Teske, Shani Waugh, Wendy Doolan, Michelle Ellis and New Zealander Lynette Brooky, while Katherine Hull, Leah Hart and Mardi Lunn have earned starts via the final sectional qualifying process earlier in June.
Recent French Open winner Brooky returns to the US to play in an event in which she did so well last year when she finished twelfth. She was responsible for some remarkable statistics throughout the week, returning more birdies than anyone in the field other than the winner, Juli Inkster. She showed with that effort, that golf in the US holds no fears for her and it may be that even at the age of thirty five, another good performance next week, may well encourage her to try the USLPGA Tour full time.
Webb, Teske, Doolan, Waugh and Ellis qualify via the various categories available through money lists and performances in recent significant events. Teske was 12th in Kansas last year, her best finish at the US Open and of course is in brilliant form at present, winning her last two starts on the USLPGA Tour. Shani Waugh surprised many with her outstanding performance for third behind Inkster and Sorenstam in the same event and she gets a start via that effort and the 2002 money list.
Webb missed the cut at the US Women’s Open last year, but gets a start through many different categories including the 2002 money list and her victories at last year’s British Open and other majors.
Katherine Hull, who jumped out of the blocks with victories in her first two professional events earlier this month on the Future’s Tour, is in via her 8th place in sectional qualifying in Illinois.
Mardi Lunn also is in, finishing seventh at her qualifying venue and Augusta State’s Leah Hart who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland survived a playoff to gain a spot in her first US Women’s Open. Hart, who has performed with much distinction on Augusta State’s collegiate team, has just completed her first year there. Hart was recently named the All-Independent player of the year at the 2003 Independent Women’s Golf Awards.
The event is being staged at the Bob Cupp designed Pumpkin Ridge for the second time, the first being in 1997 when England’s Alison Nicholas beat Nancy Lopez by a shot.