Important Questions on this week’s Women’s British Open!
The Women’s British Open is being played at Turnberry this week.
It is the second time play in this event has been at Turnberry. Best known as the site of Tom Watson’s stirring victory over Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 Open Championship. And Watson’s second-place finish in the 2009 Open at age 59, when he led going to the final hole. Australian Karrie Webb won the Women’s British at Turnberry in 2002. A year after the championship made the change to a LPGA major.
Established stars and upstarts have made an impact so far this season on the LPGA Tour.
Here are five questions in advance of the Women’s British Open. American Mo Martin will defend her inspiring victory of a year ago.
1. What can we expect from injury-riddled Michelle Wie?
Wie, 25, matched her best result of the year in the U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club, finishing 11th despite continuing to play with injuries that caused her to limp noticeably at times. Wie did not play in the past two events, the Marathon Classic and Meijer LPGA Classic, in an effort to recover from bursitis in her left hip and a bone spur in her left foot that have been plaguing her for several months.
She seemed in good spirits during a Monday morning practice round in Scotland, tweeting, “Team Wie is loving Turnberry so far!!”
It will be interesting to see if the rest has helped Wie, who also has dramatically revamped her stance with instructor David Leadbetter — making it much narrower — to take stress off her left side. Wie has shown an admirably gritty spirit in competing while she has been hurt. But she needs to heal to play the kind of winning golf she did in the first half of 2014.
2. Do those who played last week in Scotland have an edge?
Much is made each summer of the men who do or don’t play in Great Britain the week prior to the Open Championship. By winning the Claret Jug two weeks ago on the Old Course after competing at the John Deere Classic in Illinois, Zach Johnson offered a rebuke to those who say arriving earlier abroad is a plus. (Two years ago, Phil Mickelson notably won the Scottish Open the week before capturing the Open at Muirfield.)
The debate about which strategy is best is relevant this week, too. While the Meijer LPGA Classic was on in Michigan last week, the Ladies Scottish Open, a Ladies European Tour stop, was held at Dundonald Links in Scotland.
Two LPGA stars, World No. 2 Lydia Ko and No. 6 Suzann Pettersen, passed up Michigan for Ayrshire and had good weeks — Ko tying for fourth place and Pettersen finishing second.
For Ko, it was her third top-six finish in her last four tournaments — she tied for 12th in the U.S. Women’s Open in the other — which should give her some confidence at Turnberry. When Ko won her seventh career LPGA title the week she turned 18 earlier this year, a major victory seemed imminent. But she went through a rough patch going into the Women’s PGA. She missed the first cut of her LPGA career. Her game is trending in the right direction again now. She could be a serious factor this week.
Next month, a victory at Turnberry or in the Evian Championship would make Ko the youngest winner of an LPGA major.
Which would be fitting given her teenage success.
Source: By Bill Fields | Jul 27, 2015
Special to espnW.com
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