No dominant force at US Women's Open
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2012 US Women's Open | Preview | 02 Jul 2012
The greatest event in women’s golf is played this week at the Pete Dye designed Original Championship layout at Blackwolf Run in Kohler in Wisconsin, the facility one of two owned by the Kohler Company, the other being the Whistling Straits already the home of two PGA Championships.
The US Women’s Open is being played at the course for the second occasion, the first coming in 1998 when Se Ri Pak’s victory began the tidal wave of Korean female golfers to have taken the world of women’s golf by storm ever since.
Four Koreans have gone on to win the US Women’s since Pak’s trailblazing effort, all four in the last seven years.
The defending champion in 2012 will be So Yeon Ryu who defeated her fellow countrywoman Hee Kyung Seo in a playoff to win her first LPGA Tour event without having status on that Tour at the time.
The world number one and the game’s most dominant player since to retirement of Lorena Ochoa three years ago, Yani Tseng, has yet to win a US Open and it might be that the same will be the case if the end of this week. Tseng is not the game’s most accurate driver of the golf ball and the USGA set up puts a premium on finding fairways.
Tseng has a best of 10th in five US Open starts and given her recent form it would appears she will struggle once again this year. Although she started the season well her recent starts have not been all that impressive including when missing the cut last year.
In 2012 Stacy Lewis has become a threat to Tseng’s domination of the game. She has improved from 10th at the start of the year to now being in second position and with two wins and two runner-up finishes in 2012 she appears set to do even better.
Lewis has a good record at the US Open finishing 3rd in 2008 and not missing a cut in the event during her professional career.
Along with Cristie Kerr, Lewis is one of only two US players inside the top ten in the female game.
Ai Miyazato has become one of the game’s elite in the past two years. Always successful in Japan, Miyazato has to emerged as one of the leading players on the LPGA Tour. She has won twice in 2012 and finished runner-up on two occasions also.
The big improver in 2012 is China’s Shanshan Feng who recently won her first LPGA Tour event and regularly contended wherever she played. Feng is number four in the world and a victory this week would not only boost her own standing in the game but it might well open floodgates in her homeland of China.
Mika Miyazato is regularly putting together top ten finishes of late and she appears close to breaking through at this level. She is a former Japan Open winner and with her recent good finishes she appears very much on track for the big victory. She was run down by namesake Ai Miyazato last week so is in good form.
Defending champion Ryu has continued to consolidate her status in the game since her great win last year. Eight top tens in 2012 tell that story.
Australians in the field include two time winner Karrie Webb and Katherine Hull while the world’s leading amateur New Zealander Lydia Ko will also tee it up, having been granted an invitation by the USGA to play.
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