The U.S. Women's Open begins Thursday at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island, a links course that offers a different look from most U.S. Open courses. Here are the pairings for the first and second rounds that include Texas golfers (times have been converted from EDT to CDT) :
Hole 1 Thursday/Hole 10 Friday
6:00 a.m. Thursday/11:30 a.m. Friday - Wendy Ward, San Antonio; a-Jane Park, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand
6:22 a.m. Thursday/11:52 a.m. Friday - Cristina Baena, Colombia; a-Ashley Knoll, The Woodlands; Amy Hung, Chinese Taipei
6:55 a.m. Thursday/12:25 p.m. Friday - Brittany Lang, McKinney; Suzann Pettersen, Norway; Michelle Wie, Honolulu, HI
7:28 a.m. Thursday/12:58 p.m. Friday - Maria Hjorth, Sweden; Jimin Kang, Korea; a-Taylor Leon, Dallas
7:39 a.m. Thursday/1:09 p.m. Friday - Laree Sugg, Pinehurst, NC; Kristal Parker-Manzo, Cable, OH; Cindy Currier, Austin
12:03 p.m. Thursday; 6:33 a.m. Friday - Angela Stanford, Saginaw; Young Kim, Korea;
Liselotte Neumann, Sweden
1:31 p.m. Thursday/8:01 a.m. Friday - Randi Gauthier, Sugar Land; a-Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, HI; Kristina Tucker, Sweden
Hole 10 Thursday/Hole 1 Friday
6:55 a.m. Thursday/12:25 p.m. Friday - Karen Stupples, England; Heather Bowie Young, Fort Worth; Aree Song, Korea
12:58 p.m. Thursday/7:28 a.m. Friday - Soo-Yun Kang, Korea; Jamie Hullett, Mesquite; Laura Davies, England
1:42 p.m. Thursday/8:12 a.m. Friday - Michelle Murphy, Milwaukie, OR; a-Lauren Espinosa, Hickory Creek; Denise Munzlinger, Columbia, MO
So, does anything stand out here? Well, Brittany Lang is paired with Michelle Wie - which could be good or bad for Lang. Everyone paired with Wie wants to beat her, and Brittany will likely outdrive Wie on many holes. But will she get caught up in trying to do just that, to the detriment of her swing? Lang comes into the Open off a strong showing at the Wegman's, but I suspect her driver is a little too wild at this point in her career for her to contend on a links course lined with tall, thick fescue.
Keep an eye on the amateurs Ashley Knoll (Texas A&M) and Taylor Leon (University of Georgia). Both are college golf stars. Neither has a realistic chance of winning, but making the cut is a possibility for each. And one of them might sneak into the Top 25. Leon, in particular, will - mark ol' Bogey's words - be a star on the LPGA Tour in about five years.
But the Texan with the best shot at winning is Wendy Ward. She hits greens and she comes into the tournament playing well. Her putter isn't great, but she's streaky, and if she gets on a good streak she can finish high.
Full pairings are available here.