Just two Australians have ever won the US Women’s Open, and one of them is hoping to win again as the women get their turn to tackle Pinehurst #2 this week.
Major golf action returns to Pinehurst #2 this week with the US Women’s Open being played at the same venue as the men’s championship. This will be the first time the men’s and women’s US Open has been played back-to-back at the same golf course.
Lydia Ko, Jessica Korda, Natalie Gulbis and Michelle Wie were some of the world’s best female golfers who were seen watching the final rounds of the Men’s US Open to learn how to best navigate their way around a truly testing golf course.
Eight Australians have also arrived at Pinehurst #2 for what is the oldest women’s golf major. Since being officially recognised as a major since 1950 just two Australian’s have ever won the US Open; Jan Stephenson and Karrie Webb – who will play her 19th US Open this week.
Jan Stephenson won $32,780 when she claimed her third (and what was to be her last) major golf title when she beat Americans JoAnne Carner and Betty Sheehan at the 1983 US Open at Cedar Ridge Country Club.
Karrie Webb won the first of her two US Open’s in 2000 when she was just 25-years-old. The winner’s purse was now the largest in women’s golf ($500,000) and it was Webb’s third career major that had golf writers comparing her exploits with Tiger Woods who had also won the last three of four major titles.
Webb saw her four shot lead evaporate through the final round but as the challengers looked to take the lead, Webb steadied and eventually won by five shots.
Webb successfully defended her title a year later despite all the attention on newly crowned world number one Annika Sorenstam. Webb ended up crushing the field by eight strokes, one of the largest margin’s in US Women’s Open history.
Karrie Webb is joined in the field by seven other Australians; Katherine Hull-Kirk, Stacey Keating, Stephanie Na, Rebecca Artis, Nikki Campbell, Sarah-Jane Smith and amateur Minjee Lee, and they’d all be wise to pick Webb’s brain about how to play and win on a tough US Open golf course. After all, we saw what Pinehurst did to all but one of the men.
Prior to her first US Open victory in 2000, Karrie Webb wisely said, “Par is your friend at the US Open, anything better is just a bonus”.
You’d expect that at Pinehurst, that would almost win the golf tournament this week.