For the first time ever, the birthplace of golf hosts the best women players in the world as the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be contested at the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. Sherri Steinhauer won last year at Royal Lytham & St. Annes by three strokes over Cristie Kerr and Sophie Gustafson. The event can be seen in the US on TNT beginning at 10am EDT Thursday, and this weekend’s coverage will be carried on ABC.
The ladies will play the Old Course at a par of 73, with the yardage measured at 6638. The word “links” was invented here (around 1400 A.D. I’m told) so you should know what the course looks like even if you haven’t watched one of the 26 men’s Open Championships that have been played here. The weather is often brutal – wind, rain and temps in the 50s are common even in early August. I am thrilled that the LPGA is finally playing this course – I dream of the day that Augusta National will host a yearly event – but the style of golf that the weather dictates here really doesn’t appeal to me. Fighting the elements and scrambling to save par – leave that to the guys to show how “tough” they are. Call me a chauvinist but I’d much rather watch my girls play on a bright sunny day with just enough breeze to keep the gallery from sweating.
If you haven’t already, check out the links in the post below. GolfBlogger and Mulligan Stu make the historical significance of this event a lot clearer than I ever could. Also, partake in the Take Your Blog To The Course event at Mostly Harmless. The Constructivist will appreciate your input!
Picking a winner from this field is gonna be a real crapshoot. On top of that, since I’ve missed on my last two choices I’m feeling a little extra pressure to get another one right. I noted in my most recent player rankings that Jeong Jang had “found her game” and that we should “watch out for her at St. Andrews”. Those statements were made during my recent winning streak and since we’ve seen no contrary evidence in the meantime, I’m going with JJ to win. Lorena Ochoa and Ai Miyazato are my CYA picks.
Stats: Winners 4-18 (5-18 with CYAs), Top Tens 29-52.