The U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship is the oldest of the current five major championships and the third stop of the Ladies Professional Golf Associating (LPGA) tour. It also boasts the largest purse in women’s golf, with $3.25 million on the line. Defending champion Na Yeon Choi will be joined in the Hamptons by many other hopefuls, both amateur and professional, who qualified by competing in one of twenty 36-hole tournaments that took place between Tuesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 30. Among these entrants are the 2011 and 2010 champions, So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and Paula Creamer of the U.S., as well as 14-year-old Nelly Korda.
This summer, beginning on Thursday, June 27 and for the first time ever, the U.S. Women’s Golf Open Championship will come to Long Island. The tournament will take place on the 300 acres of the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton. The relatively new course neighbors the National Golf Links of America as well as the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course, two historically rich courses that Sebonack might one day count itself among.
The course will play to a par 72 and measures at 6,796 yards. The first nine is around 500 yards shorter, to make room for the three par 5’s feature in the second nine. Among these three is the final hole, a 523-yard finish that runs parallel to the Peconic Bay.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak and overlooking the Great Peconic Bay, the course was only completed in 2006, but the Sebonack website describes the course as being “carved out of land which seems to have been long-destined to become a golf course.” True to this notion, founder and owner Michael Pascucci lauded the natural inclination of the area saying, “The golf course gives the appearance of being here a long time because it really was. It just didn’t have a green and a tee box.” Despite being a newcomer to the USGA championship tour, Pascucci and Ben Kimball, U.S. Women’s Open director, are both confident that the course will live up to the lofty standards set by its predecessors.
Sebonack has received much praise since its debut, being described as a flowing, naturalist course, and was ranked by Golf Digest as the 44th best course in America this year. Defending champion Choi recently weighed in on the quality of the course during a visit, calling it “very beautiful” and on a more analytical level, commenting on the generosity of the fairways and difficulty of shots around the green. Pascucci hopes the exposure granted to his course by the tournament will increase its popularity, and Choi seemed to agree that it would probably have “a good connection with the people.”
The tournament will span four days (preceded by 3 days of practice rounds). On June 27 and 28, play will commence at 7 a.m. with live television coverage from 3 to 7 p.m. On June 29 and 30, play will begin at 8 a.m. with live television coverage from 3 to 6 p.m. The conclusion of the tournament will be immediately followed by the trophy presentation ceremony.
For more information visit www.usga.org.