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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My "5 to Watch" for the US Women's Open

Yes, it's time for yet another of my major prognostications -- this time, the US Women's Open. A very different setup from last year at Pinehurst, this is a setup that actually has trees and green grass again. (And yes, I happen to like the Pinehurst setup. It's just amazing how different things are this time.)

Wie at 2014 US Open

As much as I would like to make defending champion Michelle Wie a favorite, I have my reservations about her hip injury. (Technically it's not an injury, it's bursitis, but it's a problem in any case.) She's been making swing changes which include narrowing her stance and, while I believe that will ultimately make her swing better, there are just too many uncertainties right now for me to pick her.

Likewise, with "Caddiegate" going on this week, I'm unwilling to pick Sei Young Kim despite good showings in the last two majors. Making a caddie change at the last minute like this can disturb the good chemistry she's had, even though her replacement caddie -- who I believe has worked for Se Ri Pak -- is almost certainly a good one.

So who am I going with this week? In no particular order:
  • Inbee Park won the last major (the Women's PGA Championship) and 5 of the last 12 majors. I'm not going to leave her out of the mix the way I did at the PGA!
  • Na Yeon Choi also gets the nod from me this time. Although she hasn't played very consistently this year, she does have 2 wins which include the last event, which was in Arkansas.
  • I didn't include Stacy Lewis last time either but I feel this time may be different. She just keeps getting so close but then something happens... maybe this time is her time.
  • I'm still picking Morgan Pressel. Like Stacy, she just keeps putting herself into contention. Unlike Stacy, she hasn't had a couple of years of being close; she's been rebuilding her game, and I think it's just a matter of time until it all clicks.
  • Finally, I'm throwing in with Suzann Pettersen. Her game, like Pressel's, has improved dramatically this year since she started working with Butch. She's due for a return to the winner's circle as well.
Yes, I realize I've gone mostly chalk this time. However, 2 of my picks haven't won at all this year, so they'll have to do something different if they want to hoist that trophy.

Of course, in all likelihood, since I left Michelle out she'll probably blow the field away again...

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