Posted: June 16, 2015 4:21 pm
Among LPGA golfers playing practice rounds for the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open, praise for Lancaster Country Club has been universal and almost obligatory.
Christina Kim took it to another level Tuesday.
“The golf course is perfect,” she said. “No other way to put it.”
Anything about it surprise her?
“Just how perfect it is.”
Kim was one of at least four pros – with Na Yeon Choi, Jennifer Song and Grace Park – who played practice rounds Tuesday in preparation for the Open, to be played July 9-12. There could be more pros coming through town this week, since it’s an off week on the LPGA Tour, although a spokesman for the event said no other practice rounds had been scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon.
Perhaps because storm clouds were gathering as the four finished, they appeared to do less extra chipping, putting, and hitting multiple shots on multiple lines then usual for tour-pro practice rounds.
“Not to sound like a hippie, but I want to get a sense of the spirit of the course,” Kim said. “I’m trying to figure out what the course is trying to tell me, and what the U.S.G.A. is going to ask of us.
“I think they’re saying, ‘We want you to be creative, and we want you to hit every shot in the bag.’ ”
Which is more than OK with Choi, who won the Women’s Open in 2012, at Black Wolf Run in Wisconsin, and was runner-up to Paula Creamer in 2010 at Oakmont, like L.C.C. an old, classic Pennsylvania layout.
“We love to play this kind of course,” Choi said. “I always like the U.S. Open to challenge myself, and when it’s over I have feedback I can use to improve my game.”
Choi said she and playing partner Song played from the back of the back tee on every hole. It won’t play that long for the Open, but for what it’s worth, Choi said she hit driver, 3-wood into the long, uphill par-4 18th. Song also hit driver, 3-wood, and didn’t reach the green.
“It’s long,” Choi said, “but it’s not only long. It’s also hilly, especially the greens. I can’t even imagine what the greens are going to be like in July.”
Choi is ranked 19th in the world and won this season’s first tour event, the COATES Championship in Florida, although she hasn’t done much since.
Kim, ranked 60th, has struggled most of the year, and missed the cut in her last two events.
Asked how she played Tuesday, she shrugged and said, “I hit it forward.”
Workers were constructing the framework of a grandstand alongside the 18th green as Kim spoke. A huge merchandise tent was going up next to the 10th tee.
On the other side of the clubhouse, a similar temporary building, the media center, was taking shape. Construction crews and stacks of building materials now occupy much of the property. A temporary city is being built, and L.C.C. is starting to look like a golf stadium.
There could be more pros coming through town this week, since it’s an off week on the LPGA Tour, although a spokesman for the event said no other practice rounds had been scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon.