Interlachen Country Club in Edina, MN hosts this year's U.S. Women's Open. Cristie Kerr defends. Interlachen is an old history laden course having been the site of Bobby Jones' 1930 U.S. Open victory as well as the site of the 2002 Solheim Cup. It will play to 6,789 yards, rather long in women's golf. It's a par 73 with five par fives, four considered reachable. That in itself should make for good action and movement of the field. Fairways will be 25-28 yards wide. That coupled with a generous amount of surrounding trees will allow this event to play out in true U.S. Open fashion. Length, but with necessary accuracy, will identify a true champion. And of course the most important requirement, putting, will decide the last woman standing on Sunday. Or Monday, as we've seen lately.
Here's the top players as established by Ladbrokes, our constant assistant here at Average Golfer. As usual, AG will add a little useful commentary to shake out the field. Here we go........
Lorena Ochoa, 7/4 ..... What's to say? She's long, accurate, and the world #1. Putter gets a little dicey from time to time, especially on short ones. Should win.
Annika Sorenstam, 9/1 ..... Swan song. If she wins it'll be her 4th Open, tying her all-time for the most. She'll be down the middle. Needs to hit her approaches closer than of late and putter better get back to the old Annika. Can win.
Suzann Petersen, 16/1 ..... Gave it away last week. Solid bounce back ability though. Long enough for the course. Excellent chance.
Jeong Jang, 20/1 ..... Solid all-around. Doesn't panic. Two 2nds, two 3rds, in her last six. Could win.
Ji-Yai Shin, 20/1 ..... Plays on the Korean LPGA tour. Finished 6th last year in the U.S. Open. Could make a splash.
Paula Creamer, 20/1 ..... Length off tee might hurt some. Great iron player, maybe the best out here. If she stays out of trouble, who knows? Has a winner's attitude.
Cristie Kerr, 25/1 ..... Never count her out. Dogged determination. As defender I like her with these odds. Hangs in the top ten almost every time she plays.
Karrie Webb, 25/1 ..... Always a threat, especially in the big ones. Another great iron player. Needs a hot putter. Could win.
Yani Tseng, 25/1 ..... Won a major this year, McDonald's L.P.G.A. Championship. Ice water in her veins. I like her here a lot. Could win.
Hee-Won Han, 40/1 ..... Coming off a 3rd at Wegman's last week. 6th at Kraft Nabisco. Long shot.
Morgan Pressel, 40/1 ..... Won't lose for lack of effort or emotion. Seriously, too short off the tee to contend.
Seon Hwa Lee, 40/1 ..... Won the Ginn Tribute earlier this month. Undervalued at 40/1. Has a good shot this week.
Julie Inkster, 50/1 ..... Always surprises. Gritty. I'd love to see her win. Hasn't played much recently. Don't count her out though. Slim chance.
Jee Young Lee, 50/1 ..... Long hitter. That will help. 2nd at Safeway. Missed the cut last week. Don't really have an opinion about her chances.
Maria Hjorth, 50/1 ..... Surprised at the long odds. Has the power for the course. 2nd at McDonald's, so can play on the big stage. I like her as a sleeper pick. Could win.
Mi Hyun Kim, 50/1 ..... 1st Kim on the board. Recent 3rd at L.P.G.A. Corning Classic. Only 239 yds. off the tee will hurt here. Tremendous putter. Long shot due to length.
There's 156 women teeing off on Thursday. Unfortunately I can't highlight them all. Suprises from the field are a foregone conclusion.
AG's long shots to watch for.........
Michelle Wie ..... Got here the right way. 36 holes of qualifying. Starting to show signs of the player she was two years ago. Hey, you never know.
Brittany Lincicome ..... Huge game. It's just disappeared a little lately. OK, a lot.
Nicole Castrale ..... I expected her higher on the tote board. I think you're going to hear her name a lot in the future.
Angela Stanford ..... May just surprise a lot of folks. Has big time experience.
Birdie Kim ..... Has a U.S. Open under her belt. That proves she can do it. Never count out a previous winner, unless it's the Masters.
AG personal favorite.........Laura Davies, 59 consecutive majors, longest active streak. Still hits it a long way. Let's hope they're straight this week.
With all that out of the way, Average Golfer's pick to win the 2008 U.S. Women's Open is Suzann Pettersen. Girl's got all kinds of game. I think blowing the win last week has her seriously mad. She'll channel the anger into a solid major victory this week.
Enjoy what should be a can't miss golf weekend! ESPN covers the 1st two days, NBC picks up for the weekend.
*Keep a eye on 13 year old Alexis Thompson. This is her 2nd US Open! (Little twerp). She qualified last year as a 12 year old. That's enough for me to put my clubs on E Bay. Alexis say she's grown five inches since last year and is hitting it much longer. I'll bet she is!