Plenty of women’s golf to look forward to — “Team Jelly” talks after Round 1 of the DOW Great Lakes Bay Invitational — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Sarah Kellam, July 15, 2021
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Whereas the men are nearing the end of the most exciting part of the competitive 2020-2021 season, for women’s golf across both the professional and amateur ranks, things are only getting more interesting.
There’s a slew of great events on the calendar over the course of the next month including majors, the Olympics, and amateur championships so let’s look ahead to some of the great golf we have coming our way.
This one is a bit obvious, but with all of the storylines to keep up with in Tokyo, we are sure to see plenty of excitement and drama unfold.
Here’s what I’ll be paying close attention to:
Inbee Park looking to take home another gold medal
How the Korda sisters handle being the headliners
Shan Shan Feng’s potential retirement
Plus, there’s so much great golf being played right now by a myriad of players across a host of different countries. There isn’t really a true, obvious favorite heading into the Games and it’s going to be interesting to see who finishes at the top.
U.S. Senior Women’s Open
For someone “not calling it a comeback”, Annika sure is teeing it up quite a bit in 2021. We’ve seen her play the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, Gainbridge LPGA, Scandinavian Mixed, and American Century Championship so far this year and she will make her return to major championship golf later this month at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. The tournament will be played at Brooklawn Country Club which has hosted four other USGA Championships and it’s Helen Alfredsson defending.
With the GOAT competing in a major again, the event will garner more attention than its two previous editions and it’ll be fun watching her go up against the likes of her old competitors. Almost like a throwback to the early 2000s and her heyday.
While this professional circuit isn’t very well known, the Legends Tour is an incredibly important organization that provides fifty and older women a place to play. It deserves support for its efforts and there’s no better way to do so than by keeping up with one of its marquee events.
Plus, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Need proof?
U.S. Women’s Amateur
This one may slip under your radar, but if you want to have some insight into the next big stars in golf, you have to watch the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Last year’s edition ended in heartbreak when Gabriela Ruffels missed a short par putt on the 38th hole, giving Rose Zhang the title in shocking fashion.
Since then, the future Stanford Cardinal has been on a tear, winning some of the most prestigious junior tournaments in the game and most recently shooting a 62 in the second round of stroke play at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship to take home medalist honors. Not to mention, she’s the top-ranked amateur in the world.
The level of talent and skill that this amateur championship showcase is second to none and if you want to know who you’re going to be hearing about in a few year’s time either in the collegiate or professional ranks, you must tune in to these high-profile amateur tournaments.
Thus, while the golf world may be thinking that the season is winding down as the PGA Tour approaches the playoffs, don’t be afraid to point out the spectacular docket of events that the women’s game has coming up in the next month. There are so many incredible tournaments that have yet to be played and for women’s golf at least, we have so much to be looking forward to.
This week in women’s golf
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Jane Park’s daughter Grace remains in critical condition. (via Golfweek.com)
Anne van Dam has taken to putting with her eyes closed. (via Golfweek.com)
Here are a few teams to keep your eye on in Michigan. (via Golfweek.com)
How to watch the DOW Great Lakes Bay Invitational. (via LPGA.com)
Here’s the format and the field for this week’s LPGA Tour stop. (via GolfChannel.com)
Nasa Hataoka wins in Ohio. (via LPGA.com)
Nasa Hataoka wins the Marathon Classic after the final round was called due to weather. (via GolfDigest.com)
Yuka Saso asked Stacy Lewis for an autograph at the Marathon Classic last week. (via Golfweek.com)
Tiffany Joh has decided to retire from professional golf. (via LPGA.com)
Jofit has announced its new Reposado collection. (via Golfweek.com)
The Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic has a charitable aspect that helps to grow the game. (via SymetraTour.com)
Here are the featured groups at the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic. (via SymetraTour.com)
These are the storylines to follow at the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic. (via SymetraTour.com)
A preview of the Twin Bridges Championship. (via SymetraTour.com)
Here are the updated Race for the Card standings after the Donald Ross Classic. (via SymetraTour.com)
The Donald Ross Classic is the second win of 2021 for Casey Danielson. (via SymetraTour.com)
In the winner’s circle at the Donald Ross Classic with Casey Danielson. (via SymetraTour.com)
Here’s what’s in the bag of Donald Ross Classic winner Casey Danielson. (via SymetraTour.com)
Sanna Nuutinen of Finland is looking forward to playing in her own country at the Gant Ladies Open. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Clare Lipscombe has sadly passed away. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Here’s what to watch for at the Gant Ladies Open. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Team Cowan wins the Aramco Team Series – London. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Rachel Heck has another incredible talent: art. (via GolfChannel.com)
The U.S. Girls’ Junior is on to match play. (via Golfweek.com)
Rose Zhang fired a 62 in the second round of stroke play at the U.S. Girls’ Junior. (via GolfDigest.com)
Learn more about Cindy Kou, incoming USC freshman. (via Golfweek.com)
Still 18, there are nine college players in the field at the U.S. Girls’ Junior. (via Golfweek.com)
Tweets of the Week
Five at The IX: Nelly and Jessica Korda’s Press Conference Following the First Round of the DOW Great Lakes Bay Invitational
You got rolling with that first birdie on 1. When you guys were getting ready for today, what was the mindset or game plan? Was someone taking even, someone taking odd?
Nelly: Yeah, we knew last year already.
Jessica: We kind of set a game plan last year and we stuck with it. Obviously playing Solheim Cup after this event last year — or last time we were here was super helpful, as well. We have had a pretty good game plan, and our caddies actually went to dinner last night with their books. They’re super nerdy about it. I think they were honestly more excited about this whole experience.
Nelly, I wanted to start with you. I know we already talked about playing as the world No. 1; was there anything different out there feeling-wise? I know you said you’re trying not to think about it too much, but was there any kind of thought process of, Wow, I am the world No. 1 now, or is it just kind of business as usual for you?
Nelly: Honestly, playing in this team event and playing alongside Jess think made it a lot easier for it to be my first tournament as a world No. 1, but I just had a lot of fun. I was a little nervous on the first tee shot but after that we just kind of stuck to our plan and had fun.
Just playing with Jess and being able to have fun with your sister, does it kind of have the feels of playing golf together when you were growing up? Obviously on a big stage like this, but how much fun has it been for you to play alongside your sister in an event like this?
Nelly: I mean, Jess is five years older, so we didn’t really get to play too much golf growing up. The first time we really got to play was here two years ago together. Yeah, I mean, I feel like we have a very similar mindset so we both stay really present. We don’t get ahead of ourselves, and I think that helps. We have a lot of fun, and as Jess said, our caddies are really good friends, and we all get along really well. Honestly, it’s a lot of fun out there.
Jess, we’ve seen videos of you celebrating with Nelly and being so excited for your sister and all that she’s accomplished here in just the last month. Now you get to play alongside her and you’ll get to play “together,” in quotation marks, in the Olympics. How much fun has it been to see your sister kind of rise to the top of the LPGA Tour?
Jessica: Oh, it’s really cool. I mean, this is something that doesn’t happen often. It’s something that you dream of. But not a lot of people reach it. To have her reach that, it’s been incredible, and I’m pretty sure I was the one that texted her like hey, guess what, you’re the world No. 1. So it’s been great, and I’m just so excited for her. Clearly now we’re just trying — everyone is just trying to chase her down. There’s no one in front of you.
Jess, you mentioned the experience at the Solheim Cup being helpful today. What in particular from Solheim was helpful for you two today?
Jess: It’s the rhythm of it. Alternate-shot is a completely separate beast. A lot of chemistry between the two players is important, and in my opinion, having a similar game is really important. That way you hit very similar shots that you’re used to, and that’s kind of what we were trying to do today, really stay present. Even though I wasn’t hitting, I would still have the number, and like my caddie and I would talk about what we would be hitting, and then basically Nelly was hitting the same shot, so it was good. So yeah, kind of just like that. As I said, I think chemistry is really important, especially alternate-shot.
Jess, you said you were probably the first person to text Nelly that she became the world No. 1. Would you be happier if you became No. 1 or Nelly becoming No. 1?
Jessica: Honestly, it’s such a dream come true for her. Honestly, I see her as like a little daughter, as well.
Nelly: For me, she honestly is my mom.
Jessica: So for me, I’m so proud, just because I know how hard it is and how hard — what kind of work it takes. I don’t know, everything has to come together. The level of golf out here is insane. These girls are so good. And to do what kind of she’s done is incredible. Being a golf fan, you just sit out there and just slow clap it because seriously, it’s so impressive. I’m so proud of her. Like that’s it, basically, end of the story. I’m just so proud of her. Now erase everything I said. You heard nothing.