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5 things we learned Thursday at the U.S. Women’s Open

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There shall be no overstating the chaos and pathos of 2020. In that strange fashion that tragedy has, we’ve also been offered a glimpse into the new and the different. In the world of golf, that meant a men’s U.S. Open in September, a Masters in November, and this week, a women’s open in December.

To get the putt rolling, two courses at Champions Golf Club in Houston are in play, the first time this has happened in tournament history. Lack of light compelled the USGA to add this facet to the tournament. Beyond that, it’s all about the players and their feats of strength #Festivus.

Let’s check in on some #WomenWorthWatching and let’s #WatchWomenWork this week at the USGA Women’s Open. Here are five things that we learned on Thursday of the 75th playing of this national championship.

1. Olson leads the pack, thanks to one sweet swing

Amy Olson, a former USGA girls junior champion, took a pass at a 140-yard shot, and it disappeared. Teeing off on the back nine, the Minnesota native stood a +1 through six holes, thanks to a bogey at the 11th, her second on the day. That discrepancy went away when she holed her tee ball at the Cypress Creek course’s 16th hole, and moved to one under. The ace was the only one on the day over both courses, and was quickly followed by a birdie at the the next. Olson added additional stroke-savers at the 1st and the 8th, on her inward half, and reached four-under par. Olson wasn’t the only one to get that low, but she was the only one to stay there. With a game built for USGA courses, expect Olson to stick around for a few more days.

2. Khang and Saso fired and fell back

Yuka Saso was the latest to challenge Olson. The golfer from the Phillipines reached 4 under after nine holes at the Cypress Creek layout, but gave two shots back on the inward half. Khan got even farther, reaching five-under par after her 10th hole, on the Jackrabbit trace. Like Saso, her trek homeward was less than memorable. Khan made a pair of bogeys, then finished off the day with an miserable double bogey at the 18th. The Champions Golf Club courses will afford opportunities to pick strokes up, but it will be the ones that can get away that will determine a champion.

3. Jutanugarn is biggest name near top of leader board

Moriya, that is. Not sister Ariya, the 2018 US Women’s Open champion, but her one year-older sibling. Moriya sits at 3-under par, tied for second spot with Hinako Shibuno of Japan and A Lim Kim of Korea. Well, maybe Shibuno deserves the bigger-name nod. After all, she won the 2019 British Open, out of nowhere. What we’re saying is, after day one, there is a shortage of wattage on the marquee. Sung Hyun Park, Jennifer Kupcho, and the aforementioned Ariya are closest, each at 1-under par, in a tie for 12th. We suspect that Friday, rather than Saturday, will be moving day at this year’s national championship.

4. Who really struggled?

Maria Fassi did battle with Jennifer Kupcho at the inaugural Augusta Women’s Amateur in 2019. Today, she posted +12. Georgia Hall, the 2018 British Open titleist, signed for +10. Angela Stanford, last week’s winner and a Fort Worth native, struggled to a +9 tally. The hottest golfer on the planet, Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen, played her final ten holes in +5 to drop to +4 (might have been jet lag?) Three amateurs (Pauline Roussin, Amelia Garvey, and Maja Stark) all recorded one-under rounds of 70, making the struggles of some, inconceivable. The Women’s Open identifies a new champion as often as it recognizes a storied one. This week might be one of the former, unless a lot happens, and soon.

5. Who lays in wait?

Have a look at the even-par crowd. Inbee Park, Nasa Hataoka, Lydia Ko, and three talented Spaniards (Iturrioz, Ciganda, and Muñoz) along with top amateur Gabriela Ruffels, posted scores of 71 on Thursday. The winner could easily come from that septet. We’ll go out on a limb and pick Danielle Kang, one shot farther back, at one-over par. Kang is the world’s top-ranked player, and doesn’t suffer over-par rounds gladly. Expect a tidy 67 on Friday, as her competitors struggle to match her exploits.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Jim

    Dec 11, 2020 at 11:34 am

    Any Olson is from North Dakota, not Minnesota.

  2. A golfer

    Dec 11, 2020 at 10:33 am

    “ Kang is the world’s top-ranked player” actually Kang is #4 on Rolex ranking and #3 on LPGA money list. Jin Young Ko is #1 on Rolex and Inbee Park is #1 on money list.

  3. A golfer

    Dec 11, 2020 at 10:29 am

    “The ace was the only one on the day over both courses.” Actually Yu Jin Sung aced #4 at Cypress Creek

    • Ronald Montesano

      Dec 11, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      So you guys are saying I need an second set of eyeballs on my words, huh? Can’t dispute that. Hopefully the rest of the text was a bit more accurate. Thanks for pointing out the mistakes. Always can’t believe I made them in hindsight.

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The DailyWRX: 1/15/2021

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So this happened……

 

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Adam Scott is a God…….

 

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WOW……

 

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BC with a hot take….

Hmmmmmm…..

DM @johnny_wunder

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GolfWRX Classifieds (01/15/21) – Miura blades, classic Cleveland bomber, TaylorMade P770 irons

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member tigercolt77 – Cleveland TL310 driver head

The TL310 is a classic glued hosel, low spin, solid acoustic bomber of a driver, and this head is practically being given away.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Cleveland driver head

Member budcangolf – Miura MB 101 blades

Honestly! Look at these things – how badly do you want these in your golf bag?
Considering their condition this set is a steal.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Miura Blades

Member br61 – 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons

The hottest irons in golf are still selling like hotcakes and if you are looking for a little bit of savings versus buying brand new – this set is your ticket.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: P770 irons

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

You can also follow along on Instagram: GolfWRX Classifieds

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2021 Nippon N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+ driver and wood shafts

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Although they have been producing graphite shafts for years, Nippon is better known for the performance and quality of their Modus line of steel shafts – but with the release of the new NS Pro Regio Formula MB+ graphite shafts, they are looking to deliver the same performance to drivers and fairway woods.

“Nippon is proud to introduce the new N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+ graphite driver shaft. With the completion of the Formula + series, golfers can now have a driver shaft that works in perfect harmony with their Nippon Shaft steel shafts irrespective of their weight or configuration.”
– Hiro Fukuda, sales and marketing for Nippon Shaft.

The release of the Formula MB + shafts is intended to complete the Nippon NS Pro Regio Formula+ series since each model is intended to work for golfers alongside the well known N.S. PRO MODUS³ TOUR steel irons shafts. The concept for developing the profiles was to offer a similar feel and performance so golfers could have top to bottom confidence in their clubs.

The previously available Regio Formula B+ driver shaft is designed to match the performance of the N.S. PRO MODUS³ TOUR 120, the Regio Formula M+ matches the N.S. PRO MODUS³ TOUR 130, and the all-new N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+ shaft mimics the dynamic performance and power of the N.S. PRO MODUS³ TOUR 105 and/or TOUR 125 shafts.

 “Our goal is to give each individual player a consistent feel with their shafts throughout the bag in order to improve performance and make the game more enjoyable,”

The shaft’s performance is driven from using an ultra-high elasticity carbon sheet the full length of the shaft to reduce twisting of the head that occurs during a swing, according to Nippon, and it also helps replicate the smooth feel of the Modus3 steel shafts.

Price, specs, and availability

The shaft is scheduled for release in Japan on January 15 with a full global release set for the end of January 2021 trough Nippon authorized dealers.

The new Nippon NS Pro Regio Formula MB+ is available in a number of weights and flexes to suit any golfers and will be priced at $530 each.

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