Women's Golf 2008 Season Preview
Women’s golf begins the 2008 season this week at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay.
Let’s see, storylines, storylines. They’re a little hard to come by at the moment, what with Michelle Wie being something of a nonfactor and the “youth-movement” growing up. But let’s start with the top three.
Can The Ocho repeat her red-hot 2007 season this year? Lorena Ochoa finished in the top 10 in 21 out of 25 events played last year. She chalked up a stunning eight victories, including her first major, breaking LPGA records with her $4,364,994 in winnings.
Ochoa’s toughest competition comes in the form of tough Norwegian Suzann Pettersen. In her fifth year on tour last season, Pettersen finally had the breakthrough she’d been looking for with not one but five victories, including a major. Could be the tips from new swing coach Gary Gilchrist, the change to mental trainers Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, or her clever parlor trick of putting with her eyes closed. No, really?she putts with her eyes closed.
“When my eyes are open I feel like I have to control everything,” Pettersen says. “When they?re closed I can just let it go.”
Wouldn’t Ty Webb be proud?
It’s hard to say exactly what led to Pettersen’s unprecedented success last year, but besides the $1,802,400 in winnings, her new and improved game also landed her a fat contract with Nike.
And then there’s Paula Creamer. Creamer doubled her LPGA W’s last season to a total of four?and that was with a nagging wrist injury. The one-time competitive dancer will be defending her title at this week’s SBS Open?but now that she’s finally of legal drinking age, will she be able to maintain focus?
Also, we’ll get a chance to see how Annika Soremstam is playing this year?her appearance at the tournament is a first from the notoriously Hawaii-shy former world number one. Sorenstam’s hoping to make up for last year’s poor showing, where she didn’t even crack the top 20. Ruptured and herniated disks will do that to a person.
Meanwhile, Korea is showing no signs of letting up. Five of last year’s top ten money winners were Koreans. Eight of the top ten rookies were Koreans. Their secret? Play better.
SBS Open airtimes:
Feb 14: 6:30-9:00 PM ET Golf Channel
Feb 15: 6:30-9:00 PM ET Golf Channel
Feb 16: 6:30-9:00 PM ET Golf Channel
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