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US women’s Open: a very high level

Céline Boutier, leader of a tricolor clan which aligns five representatives. A record in a women’s US Open! AFP

PRESENTATION – Shifted from June to December, the 75th US Open in history is being played this week in Houston (Texas). 156 players, including five French women, will have to master two different courses during the first two rounds. Follow the leader.

While the PGA Tour is dormant for several weeks before resuming play on January 7 in the Hawaiian Islands for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, its women’s counterpart, the LPGA Tour, is organizing the 75th US Open of the story, on the Champions Golf Course in Houston. His oldest Major tournament.

Shifted from June to December due to the pandemic linked to Covid-19, this 2020 edition will not be like the others, we suspect. In addition to the absence of any spectators, the first two rounds are played on two par 71s. The Cypress Creek, 6,155 meters, and the Jack Rabbit, 6,000 meters. Why two plots? To allow the 156 players involved to complete their two rounds on time, knowing that the sunshine is reduced at this time of year. Indeed, the sun rises at 7:00 a.m. in Houston and sets at 5:22 p.m. precisely. The two rounds of the weekend are planned on the Cypress.

This data clearly makes the task a little more difficult for the competitors who will have to “tame” two courses while only one, especially at the US Open, is already very difficult. The American Stacey Lewis, twice victorious in Grand Slam (Kraft Nabisco 2011, British Open 2013), does not hide her fear. “A golf course at the US Open is always complicated to master, and two or three practice games are not enough to know it completely, she says in the columns of Golf Digest. This is one of the biggest challenges for anyone coming here this week. »

The tone is set. It will therefore be necessary to be very strong to win, especially since all the best are there (including seventeen of the world’s first twenty). Even some South Koreans who had decided to stay at home since the start of the health crisis, preferring to play on the very tough local pro circuit, the KLPGA. This is the case of the current world No. 1, Jin young Ko, but also of Sung hyun Park, winner of the US Open 2017, and defending champion Jeongeun Lee6. The latter had won in Charleston (South Carolina) with a total score of -6, shattering here the dream of Céline Boutier, co-leader with the Chinese Yiu Liu after 54 holes. The Frenchwoman had finally taken fifth place at -3 by playing 75 (+4) on Sunday… Leader of tricolor golf in the United States, the Francilienne is obviously at the start this week, like four other of her compatriots. In addition to Perrine Delacour, who is having a very solid season at the highest level, three amateurs are lined up: Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, 20, Agathe Laisné, 21, and Lucie Malchirand, 17. They owe their presence in Texas to their ranking in the world amateur top 20. These three are among the 41 beginners entered in the most prestigious tournament in women’s golf. Since 1946, only four rookies have managed to win: Patty Berg (1946), Kathy Cornelius (1956), Birdie Kim (2005) and In Gee Chun (2015). Spread the word !

US Women’s Open (LPGA Tour) – $5,500,000 prize pool (€4,537,455 prize pool)

Players to watch

Brittany Altomare (USA), Nicole Broch Larsen (Dan), Carlota Ciganda (Esp), Hannah Green (Aus), Georgia Hall (Eng), Nasa Hataoka (Jap), Brooke Henderson (Can), Charley Hull (Eng), Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha), Danielle Kang (USA), Sei young Kim (CdS), Jin young Ko (CdS), Lydia Ko (NZ), Jessica Korda (USAZ), Nelly Korda (USA), Jeongeun Lee6 (CdS), Minjee Lee (Aus), Stacey Lewis (USA), Yealimin Noh (USA), Anna Nordqvist (Sue), Inbee Park (CdS), Sung hyun Park (CdS), Emily Kristine Pedersen (Dan), Sophia Popov (G), Mel Reid (Eng), So yeon Ryu (CdS), Hinako Shibuno (Jap), Angela Stanford (USA), Lexi Thompson (USA), Anne Van Dam (PB).

The committed French women

Céline Boutier, Perrine Delacour, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard (a), Agathe Laisné (a), Lucie Malchirand (a).

To watch the US Women’s Open (LPGA Tour) on TV:

Thursday, December 10, 1st round: 7:00 p.m. (Golf +)

Friday, December 11, 2nd round: 7:00 p.m. (Golf +)

Saturday, December 12, 3rd round: 7:00 p.m. (Golf +)

Sunday, December 13, 4th round: 6:00 p.m. (Golf +)

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