Not only will the Women’s British Open — which only recently became a major — be played for the first time on the historic Old Course at St. Andrews, the ladies will be allowed in the previously off-limits Royal & Ancient clubhouse. “It’s something everyone has been talking about for the last year, trying to get accommodations [there],” Karrie Webb said.
Lorena Ochoa keeps adding to her résumé. There is one thing missing, however — a major. Winning a major such as this week’s U.S. Women’s Open would help cement her status as the No. 1 women’s player. The young Mexican star makes her money around the green. While tied for 66th in driving accuracy, Ochoa is fifth in sand saves (56.4 percent) and tied for fifth in putts per green (1.77). She also is making a little more cash off the course thanks to her success. Ochoa only recently signed an equipment deal with Ping.
If you think the women’s game is filled with youngsters, you’re right. And there will be another one to watch this week. Alexis Thompson, all of 12 years old, is the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women’s Open history. Combine that with 24 teenagers in the field and the fact that Morgan Pressel this year became the youngest to win an LPGA major when she took the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Jim Furyk is playing some pretty terrific golf at the moment. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any hardware to show for it. Furyk is coming off two runner-up finishes in three starts, including a second at the U.S. Open. He was second at the Buick Open a year ago and, with Tiger Woods taking the week off to be with his wife and newborn daughter, would like to move up a notch and collect a trophy.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
EVENT: Buick Open
WHERE: Grand Blanc, Mich.
COURSE: Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Tiger Woods
EVENT: U.S. Women’s Open
WHERE: Southern Pines, N.C.
COURSE: Pine Needles Lodge & GC, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Annika Sorenstam
EVENT: Commerce Bank Championship
WHERE: East Meadow, N.Y.
COURSE: Eisenhower Park, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: John Harris
EVENT: Peek’n Peak Classic
WHERE: Findley Lake, N.Y.
COURSE: Peek’n Peak Resort & Conference Center, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: John Merrick
EVENT: French Open
WHERE: Versailles, France
COURSE: Le Golf National, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Niclas Fasth