The 2015 US Women’s Open – 3 Perfect Cinderella Stories (Video)


The 70th US Women’s Open was a simply splendid international showcase for women’s golf.  From the standout amateurs who braved the challenge of teeing it up with the best of the best to 51-year old Dame Laura Davies, playing in her 27th US Women’s Open, from Stacy Lewis battling relentlessly against the entire field for 72 holes to Amy Yang, who delivered a most extraordinarily consistent and serene performance in her quest for the Championship, every shot seeming to hold its own dramatic moment. It was a week packed with the promise or glory.

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I’ll not soon forget Michelle Wie’s heroic defense of her title.  It was brave beyond measure, the stuff that makes sports legends!  A lesser player would have withdrawn from the field.  Wie played on through the weekend obviously in pain with every transfer of her weight.  At times she faltered, unable to give her strike a proper follow-through.  But at other times she forced her damaged hip to cooperate and comply.  I think all of us who were behind the ropes cheered the triumph of her eagle on the 16th Sunday afternoon.

Young Megan Khang collected the low amateur award this year and is now faced with making some decisions about her future.  Will it be college or should she just take the leap and turn pro?  This was Khang’s third run at the US Women’s Open.  She missed the cut in her first two appearances. This year she finished T35th.

Khang told The Morning Call’s Tim Housenick that this Open Championship has her rethinking plans for her immediate future:

"“The biggest goal of mine is to go on the LPGA Tour and this definitely gives me a lot of confidence to compete out here with the women. And it does, I’m not going to lie, it does influence me a little to come out here and play on the Tour.”"

But the biggest Cinderella Story got played out by a 20-year old US Women’s Open rookie whose mother and father had sacrificed much to give her a shot at this moment.  And In Gee Chun didn’t seem to understand that rookies just don’t win the Open Championship.  She played with joy and abandon and an awesome level of skill.

With her friend Hee Kyung Seo’s caddie on the bag, Chun played her way past Morgan Pressel and Seo Yeon Ryu, then Brooke Henderson and then Inbee Park as Sunday’s final round unfolded.

There was trouble at the top of the board.  Stacy Lewis was struggling and In Gee Chun was smiling as she pulled even with Lewis on the leaderboard.  A run of three birdies beginning on the 15th took Chun to the top of the board.

Yang fought back and with an eagle on the 16th and a birdie on the 17th she was within a shot of a playoff.  But the pesky 18th wasn’t giving up any last-minute second chances.  Yang had to settle for runner-up and Lewis and Park shared 3rd.

The KLPGA and JLPGA member had started the day four shots off the lead and birdied three of her final four holes to finish at 8-under par 272 and one shot clear of Amy Yang.   When the dust had settled and the stats were compiled, In Gee Chun had recorded seven birdies and three bogeys on Sunday and her four-day total of 272 matched Annika Sorenstam (1996) and Juli Inkster (1999) for the championship scoring record.

When the glass slipper fits, you just have to slip it on, go to the ball, and enjoy yourself!

Next: Profiling Dame Laura Davies