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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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

The women are back in action at a major this week, this time at the US Women's Open at CordeValle Golf Club in Santa Clara County, California. CordeValle hosted the Frys.com Open for four years, so this continues the new tradition of staging LPGA majors at venues proven to challenge PGA Tour players.

CordeValle Golf Club

Tony Jesselli has done his customary preview of the event, so I won't repeat his work other than to mention that In Gee Chun is the defending champion.

As for making my picks this week, it's hard not to just go chalk. Unlike the top male golfers, who seem to be playing erratically despite continuing to finish high in events, the ladies seem to be in the form you would expect when you see their world rankings.

A few seemingly obvious picks are missing from my list. Ariya Jutanugarn won three in a row earlier this season, but I think that streak is over for the time being. I still think Gerina Piller will win this season, but I think the Olympics are on her mind and that's the reason she hasn't played as well over the last few weeks. And defending champ In Gee Chun just seems a bit off her game lately.

Here are my picks, in Rolex order:
  • Lydia Ko (#1) continues to play well despite the occasional poor drive. Her bad drives are rarely truly horrible, and then she just takes her medicine. As a result, she has a win and a runner-up in a major, as well as two other wins this season. Having just won at the Walmart event, you have to expect another good showing this week.
  • Brooke Henderson (#2) has two wins this season, including one major and a win just this past week. She had a rough couple of putting days in Portland, yet still won the event. The knowledge that she can "win ugly" should stand her in good stead this week at CordeValle.
  • Lexi Thompson (#4) is the only American with a win this season. Her problem -- as usual -- is a streaky putter. If that comes around this week, she should be contending on Sunday.
  • Amy Yang (#9) always seems to end up on leaderboards at majors, but often it's one bad round that takes her out of it. But the US Women's Open is the major where she seems to play best, so this may be the week she breaks through.
  • And my flier -- if you can call any of these ladies a flier -- is So Yeon Ryu (#11). She's been making changes to her game for the last year or so and they finally seem to be taking hold over the last few weeks. I won't be surprised if she has another good major showing this week.
But if I have to pick one -- and I suppose I do -- I'm taking Brooke Henderson. I don't expect her to have another bad putting week, and I think the confidence she gained from defending her title last week will put her in a good frame of mind for this major.

Don't forget that USGA events are carried by FOXSPORTS1 on Thursday and Friday, and on the FOX Network Saturday and Sunday. You can also catch some of the action on USGA.org each day. The times are listed at the US Women's Open overview page at LPGA.com.

5 comments:

  1. http://www.golf.com/video/us-womens-open-dark-horses-could-surprise-cordevalle

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    1. https://www.facebook.com/TheGolfCanada/videos/1018220428226470/

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  2. Piller needs top 17; Webb needs top 6 should Su Oh miss cut

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    1. http://www.golfchannel.com/media/us-womens-open-players-look-ahead-olympics/

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    2. http://golfweek.com/2016/07/05/us-womens-open-olympics-australia-karrie-webb/

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