Webb, Lee, Kirk Lead Aussie Charge in US Women’s Open
Queenslander Karrie Webb is heading the large contingent of Australians teeing it up from this Thursday night (AEST) in the women’s second major of the year, the 2014 Women’s US Open at the famous Pinehurst No.2 course.
Webb is joined in the field by fellow Queenslanders Katherine Kirk and Sarah Jane Smith, ACT’s Nikki Campbell, South Australian Stephanie Na, New South Wales’s Rebecca Artis and Victorians Minjee Lee(a) and Stacey Keating.
The best players in women’s golf have gathered at Pinehurst No.2 to chase the title they want to win above all others. This week is even more special as for the first time in US Open history, the USGA is holding back to back men’s and women’s US Open on the same course.
Webb and Kirk gained automatic entry through past performances, while the rest had to qualify through one of the many sectional qualifying events.
Keating and Campbell are actually paired together for the opening rounds and will be the first Aussies to hit the course. The duo tee off at 7.18am local time. They are followed by Sarah Jane Smith who tees off the 1st at 7.29am, Kirk tees off No.10 at the same time while Rebecca Artis is the latest of the Australian contingent at 2.20pm
The 2000 and 2001 Open champion, Webb, gets her campaign underway at 8.02am from the 1st. Webb is paired with American Lexi Thompson and So Yeon Ryu.
The Queenslander played the course for the first time a couple of weeks ago, she said earlier this week.
“Had never been to Pinehurst before until I went there for a couple early practice rounds a couple weeks ago. With the men playing first and the possibility of a Monday playoff I decided some early prep was probably in my best interests.
The current Rolex Ranked World No. 5 assessment on the course, “I think the keys to Pinehurst are firstly with it being a demanding second shot course there is a premium on great iron play with good distance control, and the obvious one is that your short game needs to be at its highest level to have a chance at winning.”
Webb did take an interest in watching the guys play there last week to see if she could learn anything.
“It has been a little helpful although as the week has gone on I’ve seen the surrounds of the greens really bake and brown out. So how I thought I would be playing shots from around the greens after my couple practice rounds, may have changed. I will have to wait and see during my practice rounds this week.
She is happy with her form and is hoping the challenge of Pinehurst No. 2 really sharpens her focus and brings out her best. If that happens, she certainly will be in with a great chance come Sunday.
Na is off late in the morning wave at 8.46am, while Minjee Lee who tees off at 12.52pm and Rebecca Artis are the only Aussies in the afternoon wave.
The defending champion this week is South Korean Inbee Park.
The 156 players will be vying for their share of the US$3.25million on offer.
Tune into Fox Sports from 5am Friday morning (AEST) for coverage of the tournament.