The best professional and amateur women golfers will tee it up at the 2013 US Women’s Open on June 27 at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, NY, at the tournament Stacy Lewis has described as “the hardest test in golf , the ultimate test.” It is the oldest and most prestigious test of women’s golfing skill and talent, and the winner will have achieved her own ultimate dream of success.
“It doesn’t mater where you come from, it doesn’t matter where you were born,
if you walk away with the trophy, you’re best in the world.”
Karrie Webb, Australia, 2000 & 2001 US Open Champion
The Women’s Open was created in 1946 by the Women’s Professional Golfers Association, which ran the annual tournament through 1948. By 1949 women’s professional golf was gaining momentum, the WPGA was fading, and the LPGA, guided by Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, assumed responsibility for continuing the Women’s Open. In 1953 the LPGA asked the USGA to take over management of the Open, which was played that year at the Country Club of Rochester. The USGA has sustained the Women’s Open now for 60 years.
Over the past half century, the U.S. Women’s Open has grown steadily. In the 1953 Open, 37 players competed for the trophy. That number increased to 205 for the 1976 Open, the year sectional qualifying events were introduced. As the century turned, 980 players competed in the qualifiers and the 72-hole tournament.
Over the past 20 years, as women’s professional golf has grown globally, the Women’s Open has taken on a rich international flavor. Nine of the last 20 Women’s Open champions have been international players.
The game of golf is capricious and unpredictable, filled with surprises, some shattering and others euphoric. Picking a winner from a field of superb golfers who regard this win as a career pinnacle could be tricky. No one would have tagged Hilary Lunke, Janet Alex Anderson, and Birdie Kim for their wins.
Dor all three, the US Open was their only professional golf win! Lunke’s 2003 win came in a 3-way playoff when she dug deep and rolled the winning putt into the cup because “I didn’t want to play any more golf.” I can’t think of a better reason to sink a putt.
As the tee time approaches I’ll take a closer look at some of the likely top contenders.