This Week in Golf: 08-04-22

AIG Women’s Open

Jennifer Kupcho is a likely favorite

This Week in Golf

Lots going on in the world of golf this week (outside the ongoing LIV vs. PGA Tour drama). Let’s look at some of what’s happening on the links…

AIG Women’s Open

The AIG Women’s Open heads to famed Muirfield for the first time in the event’s history. As always in links golf, the weather will be one of Scotland’s driving forces this week. Overall, the week looks dry, like it has been for quite some time. The course is running fast for sure.  It will be on the cooler side with temps around 50 degrees in the mornings and the low to mid 60s during the day. It will be a little breezy. Thursday winds: W to SW 5-10mph, gust 8-13mph, increasing W 10-15mph, gust 17-22mph from late morning. Friday winds: W or SW 8-12mph, gust 12-15mph, increasing W or NW 10-13mph, gust 15-20mph by afternoon. Saturday and Sunday winds: Lighter westerly winds for Saturday, a chance of more variable on Sunday.

Muirfield is a privately owned golf links that is the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Located in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland, overlooking the Firth of Forth, Muirfield is one of the golf courses used in rotation for The Open Championship. Still, again, this is the first time that the women have been here at the historical links.
Let’s take a quick look at who some favorites might be and other potential contenders…

Brooke Henderson

With two wins on the season, including a Major at the Amundi Evian Championship, Brooke has started to come into her own as of late. A lot of that success has been on the greens, where some renewed confidence has seemed to have come. Brooke is ranked 5th in the Rolex Rankings and 2nd in the Race to the CME Globe.

Jennifer Kupcho

On the heels of her second win of the season at the Meijer LPGA Classic, Jennifer Kupcho is a likely favorite. Not only did she look strong at the Meijer, but her win back in March at The Chevron Championship, an LPGA major, solidified her place on Tour as a big-time contender.

Minjee Lee

Besides Kupcho, Minjee Lee is the only other two-time winner on the LPGA Tour in 2022. Her victory at the US Women’s Open, contested earlier this month at Pine Needles, showed how dangerous she is on the big stage. Minjee may be the best ball striker on the LPGA currently, and if that may be in doubt, you don’t need to look much further than her number 1 ranking in scoring, at 69.17 strokes per round.

Jin Young Ko

In March, Jin Young Ko captured the HSBC Women’s World Championship for her lone victory of the 2022 season. With that win, she also had a 2nd at the Palos Verdes Championship, a 4th at the U.S. Women’s Open, and a T-4th at the JTBC Classic. Few will forget her phenomenal 2021 season with five wins, including the Tour Championship, a T-2nd, T-3rd, and two 4th place finishes. Ko is currently ranked 1st in the Rolex Rankings.

Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda is primed for a storybook victory after some major medical setbacks this year. Korda had a procedure in March to remove a blood clot from her subclavian vein. Korda also contracted the coronavirus in January. Despite this, and with only eight starts on the season, she has finished in the top 20 in all except the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. That includes five top 10s and a 2nd place finish at the Meijer LPGA Classic, where she lost in a playoff. Korda is ranked 3rd in the Rolex Rankings.

Others to watch include Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, and Atthaya Thitikul.

PGA Tour in Greensboro, NC, for the Wyndham Championship

Sedgefield Country Club has played host to the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, formerly the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic, and the Greater Greensboro Open (GGO) since 2008. Sedgefield is a Donald Ross gem and opened for play in 1926. Sedgefield and Detroit Golf Club are currently the only two Ross-designed courses hosting a regular event on the PGA Tour. The course consisted of Bentgrass greens until a significant $3 million restoration project, initiated in 2007, added Champion Bermuda greens and restored its rolling fairways.

My Pick to Win: Will Zalatoris

This is the week for Zalatoris. Already a serious top contender for nearly two seasons, especially in majors, Will will get it done this week. In almost all the ball striking, strokes gained stats; Will is near or at the top. He needs to match up the flat stick with the ball striking, and he will be a multiple-time Tour winner…which will include plenty of majors. This is his breakthrough week.

Junior Golf on Display this Week

PGA Junior Championship

This week marks the 46th edition of the PGA Junior Championship, both for the boys and Girls. Famed Cog Hill, just outside Chicago, plays host. Follow the action, which runs through Friday the 5th, at the following link:  https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/8238913720005179759

US Kids Golf World Championships

Since 2002, the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships has welcomed golfers ages 5-12 to ten championship courses in the Pinehurst area. These courses, this event, and the community of Pinehurst have come together for the last 20 years to produce the World’s largest junior golf tournament, which provides a stage for golf’s next generation of stars to shine. The schedule consists of a Parade of Nations, Parent-Child Tournament, Trackman Demo Days, three rounds of championship play, and the Closing Ceremony. Following the three-day championship, the Van Horn Cup — a one-day best ball tournament featuring the top 12-year-old boys and girls — is contested on Pinehurst No. 4. To follow the action, now through Saturday, August 6th, go to https://tournaments.uskidsgolf.com/tournaments/world/find-tournament/506877/world-championship-2022

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About the Author: Brendon Elliott

brendon_elliott
PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is a multiple award-winning Golf Professional based in Central Florida. He is the 2017 PGA of America's National Youth Player Development Award Winner and is the recipient of more than 25 other industry awards with a focus on Coaching & Education. He is considered by his peers as an industry expert on topics ranging from Jr. Golf Development to Operations to Industry Sustainability. He is the founder of the Little Linksters Golf Academies and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, a 501c3 nonprofit also based out of Central Florida. Brendon is also a freelance golf writer for PGA.com and Golf Range Magazine. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. You can learn more about Brendon at BrendonElliott.com and Little Linksters at littlelinksters.com.