SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The competitors of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club are a diverse group. They range in age from t" />
Open Pursuit

The 156 players at Sebonack are united by the dream of winning the U.S. Women’s Open


Despite winning 48 LPGA Tour events, Nancy Lopez never fulfilled her dream of winning the U.S. Open. (USGA/J.D. Cuban)

By Hunki Yun, USGA
June 26, 2013

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The competitors of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club are a diverse group. They range in age from two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Juli Inkster, who turned 53 on Monday, to 14-year-old Nelly Korda.

Representing 23 countries, the players have come from halfway around the world and just down the road. Two-time champion Karrie Webb grew up in Queensland, Australia, 9,600 miles from Sebonack, while amateur Annie Park hails from Levittown on Long Island.

No matter where they are from or how old they are, whether they are professionals or amateurs, the bond that the 156 players in the field share is the elite position that the U.S. Women’s Open holds in their hearts and minds.

“Winning the U.S. Open has always been my dream,” said Yani Tseng, of Chinese Taipei, the top-ranked player in the Rolex Rankings from February 2011 to March 2013.
“Honestly, playing in the U.S. Open was my dream when I was an amateur. Now, I can not just play, but I can think about winning this tournament. It’s huge for me. I really appreciate it and I’m very, very happy to be here just playing this tournament.”

Stacy Lewis succeeded Tseng as the No. 1 player in the world earlier this year and held the mantle for four weeks. Both players have won multiple LPGA tournaments, including majors. But a win in the most demanding, most prestigious championship in women’s golf would be an unmatched career highlight for either player.

“If you’re a U.S. player, this is your national championship,” said Lewis, who tied for third in 2008 but hasn’t been in contention since. “This is the tournament you want to win. It’s definitely been my nemesis the last few years.”

In addition to being the championship that everyone wants to win most, the U.S. Women’s Open usually provides the toughest test. For winners, having overcome these obstacles adds to the sense of accomplishment.

“When you walk out of the clubhouse, you know that the golf course is going to be a great test of golf,” said 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer. “You know it’s going to challenge you in so many ways.”

The course and setup are at the heart of what distinguishes the U.S. Women’s Open from other championships. Designed by Tom Doak and eight-time USGA champion Jack Nicklaus, Sebonack Golf Club is the latest addition to a roster of memorable championship venues, ranging from modern gems such as Blackwolf Run and Pumpkin Ridge to historic courses such as Oakmont and Newport.

“The primary importance in the U.S. Women’s Open is the golf course,” said Tom O’Toole, a USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee. “That is paramount to everything: Can the golf course test the greatest players in the world?”

Not surprisingly, the game’s best players have been best equipped to handle these challenges and win the championship over the years. Among the multiple U.S. Women’s Open champions are Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, JoAnne Carner and Annika Sorenstam.

Thanks largely to its champions, the U.S. Women’s Open possesses a rich history, which is an integral characteristic that adds to both its prestige and difficulties.

“I think for the U.S. Open, it’s just not about a course,” said Tseng. “I think it’s the pressure. The U.S. Open pressure is going to make courses harder.”

Tseng, 24, and Lewis, 28, will have additional opportunities to fulfill their dreams. But just as a U.S. Women’s Open victory can be a capstone, not winning can also define a career, the way it has for six-time U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson.

Two of the greatest players in history, Kathy Whitworth and Nancy Lopez, have won 136 LPGA Tour events between them. But none of the titles has been the most prestigious in women’s golf.

In 1975, Lopez tied for second as an amateur in her second U.S. Women’s Open, then added three more runner-up finishes in 24 subsequent starts.

“I think four seconds should equal a first,” said Lopez at her final U.S. Women’s Open, in 2002. “Winning the U.S. Open would have been a thrill for me. I would love to have won it, but if you’re not meant to win the U.S. Open, you’re not going to win it no matter how hard you try.

“If I would have won the U.S. Open, I would have brought my sleeping bag and camped out on 18 and stayed there all night long. I swore I would do that.”

The winner of the 2013 U.S. Open probably won’t pitch a tent outside the Sebonack clubhouse, but she will leave with an indelible place in golf history as well as the most coveted trophy in women’s golf.

Hunki Yun is the USGA’s digital publisher and web content manager. Email him at hyun@usga.org

 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @usopengolf
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image