Teske, Sorenstam and Pak head US Womens Open
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2003 US Women's Open | Preview | 01 Jul 2003
The Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Oregon, is again the venue for the US Women’s Open this week, following its debut six years ago when the British golfer Alison Nicholas held off Nancy Lopez to win by a shot. When the diminutive Nicholas won in 1997 she was ten under on the par 71 layout.
The Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge, is one of two high class facilities at the complex. The other, the Ghost Creek course, has been selected to host the 2006 US Senior Open. Both courses are designed by Bob Cupp.
Cupp was a co-designer for Jack Nicklaus in the early Nicklaus design days and in that role, assisted in the creation of courses such as Muirfield Village, Glen Abbey and Castle Pines. In 1984, the bear’s cub, Cupp, left the den and started out on his own. He joined forces with John Fought and this was one of their projects. Both courses opened for play in 1992.
Defending champion Juli Inkster comes into this event on the back of some very good form of late. She failed somewhat at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship three weeks ago, but she won the LPGA Corning Classic in late May with a last round 62 and just last Sunday, finished third at the Shoprite event. She is such a gritty competitor that the US Open seems suited and in that respect, she must be a good chance again.
Annika Sorenstam has won the event twice previously, albeit earlier in her career and last year was second to Inkster. It goes without saying that she is in great form and will be the favourite.
Rachel Teske has not played the US Open well, but she seemed happier with her twelfth place last year in Kansas and as we know she is the hottest player in women’s golf right now with her two consecutive wins, one of them in a playoff which included Annika Sorenstam.
Karrie Webb seems to lost her way this year although she has a very good record at the US Open, with two wins and a total of four top tens in seven starts in the event. She did miss the cut last year, but it is hoped that this event will rekindle some desire and form which appear to be lacking at present.
Se Ri Pak won the event in her rookie year in 1998 and has had several other good finishes since. She too is having a very good year and is expected to once again be in the thick of things come Sunday.
Others who may figure are the improving Grace Park, Lorie Kane and Mi Hyun Kim, although Kim’s record at the Open is not good.
Other Australasians are last year’s surprise third placegetter Shani Waugh, Wendy Doolan, Michelle Ellis, Lynette Brooky, Katherine Hull, Mardi Lunn and Queensland amateur Leah Hart. Hart is in her second year at Augusta State and has had a brilliant first year there.