Posted: June 10, 2015 9:28 pm
Beginning Thursday, three of women’s golf’s five annual major championships – the Women’s PGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British Open – will be played in 52 days.
A snapshot taken at any point in the golf year would reveal certain elite players who are hot, and others who are not. Beginning this critical stretch, let’s all smile for the camera…
Inbee Park – In 11 starts this year, two wins, a second (in a playoff, to Sei Young Kim’s holed-out 8-iron what would have gone over the green had it not banged the flagstick) and no finish worse than 18th. For most of the last 3 1/2 years, the best player in the sport, and the one you’d pick to make a sidehill/downhill 8-footer with two feet of break under the gun.
Suzann Pettersen – Shot 22 under to win in Canada last week, her first win since 2013, hitting 62 of 72 greens in regulation. Coming out the other side of a swing change (with Butch Harmon), she still ranks fifth in the world, fourth in GIR and sixth in scoring average, and has had two other top 10s in the last six weeks, one of them in a major.
Anna Nordqvist – Won two weeks ago in Atlantic City, and has seven top 15s this year. Mediocre driving stats don’t bode well for majors, but numbers like third in GIR and in putts per GIR do.
Stacy Lewis – The best American player, and world No. 1 a year ago at this time. For most of this year, Lewis contended every week, but didn’t quite cash in. Last three weeks: missed cut, 51st and 25th. A ball-striker with a game made for the majors (she’s won two of them), but not the recent results.
Michelle Wie – The defending USWO champ hasn’t won since Pinehurst, has zero top 10s this year, and is nursing a nagging hip injury that has caused her to withdraw in two of her last three starts.
Lydia Ko – Yes, she’s a teenage golf genius. But since winning in San Francisco in April, the world No. 1 has played just three times, and finished 16th, 41st and 27th. Was 51st in the year’s only major. Her record in the majors, in fact, isn’t as impressive as her record everywhere else.