Sorenstam, Wie favourites for US Open
Perhaps the marquee event in women's professional golf begins in Massachusetts, as the best golfers from around the world gather for the US Open.
Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
Massachusetts:Perhaps the marquee event in women's professional golf begins in Massachusetts, as the best golfers from around the world gather for the US Open. Two-time winner Annika Sorenstam of Sweden is considered the favourite, but there are others who should contend, including South Korea's Grace Park, who is after her second major victory of the season. League to champs And, whilst not thought of as one of the favourites, the young American teenager, Michelle Wie, is continuing to attract a lot of attention from both fans and the media. Sweden's Annika Sorenstam, who won back-to-back US Opens in 1995 and 1996, is trying to win her second major in three weeks after a relatively easy time at the LPGA Championship. The US Open is usually the toughest tournament of the year, and this is expected to be no exception. Orchards is 6,473 yards and plays even longer because of the heavy New England air, moist grass, gentle bends in the tree-lined fairways and elevated greens that must be carried to certain spots. Teen power 16 teenagers are in the field, two more than last year at Pumpkin Ridge. 14-year old American Michelle Wie is getting most of the attention because she has become the most celebrated teen in golf. Yet, she has loftier goals than even the women's US Open. The USGA afforded Wie special treatment by giving her an exemption from qualifying. Beyond this tournament, Wie is also contemplating playing golf at university, and the inevitable professional career. Even at 14, the prodigy from Hawaii already has a rival in the same age group, 17-year old Paula Creamer, who finished second on the LPGA Tour two weeks ago. No one doubts Wie, Creamer, 17-year-old Jane Park and 18-year-old Aree Song have the game to win the biggest tournament. Tough competition Song, a rookie on the LPGA Tour, came within one shot of winning her first major. Kraft Nabisco champion Grace Park is also going after her second major of the year, and will do so in an event she wants more than any other. Juli Inkster, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak also are expected to contend. It should be a strong test, as always. The USGA aims to identify the best player, and the Orchards might do just that. (AP)