Bienvenue! My name is Jamie and I like golf. I grew up playing tennis in eastern Massachusetts, but fell in love with the game after watching Se Ri Pak defeat Jenny Chausiriporn at the 1998 U.S. Womens Open. I studied Hospitality & Tourism Management (with a focus on Event, Tourism, and Convention Management) at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tennis is my first love, but golf is a very close second. I believe style should equal substance, and the latter is nothing without the former.
Last year, fans and media alike were reeling when two of the LPGA’s most popular ladies Michelle Wie & Natalie Gulbis failed to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. This year there is no public outrage, but there are a few notable names who won’t be teeing it up at Oakmont.
Davies will be missing the U.S. Open for the first time in 24 years. Yes, I said 24 years! After receiving a special exemption in the U.S. Open last year and finishing a solid T17, she didn’t do enough on the LPGA to get herself automatically in. She also chose not to attend qualifying, and will be a familiar face missing from the field. At least we will be saved from having to hear on Davies is 2 points shy from making the LPGA Hall of Fame this week.
Watching (well reading) Song-Hee Kim struggle to close out her first victory this past week at the Jamie Farr conjured up memories of Lori Kane’s struggle to get into the winner circle. From 1996-1999 Kane had an astonishing 34 top 10s and 8 runner-up finishes. Finally she broke through in 2000, and the wins kept coming. Her 3-win season was one of the best she’s had on tour. Kane hasn’t seen a top 10 since 2007, and is trying to end a 2-year slide of finishing outside the top-130 on the money list. Kane was the old dog at the qualifying site at the Plantation Bay Country Club, where tweens Alexis Thompson and Yueer Feng qualified. She is an alternate into the field after losing out on a spot in a playoff. Kane hasn’t played a U.S. Open since 2007.
Mi Hyun Kim
Peanut had a shortened 2009 season after having her first child, and is trying to adjust and round back up into form. Kim’s last win came in 2007, which is also the last year she finished in the top 5 of the money list. She hasn’t done much in 2010 and may have the rest of July off as I don’t see her getting into the Evian or the British Open. Hopefully when the LPGA resumes domestically the 8 time winner will get back on track. Kim hasn’t played an open since 2008. In a stacked field at Hawke Pointe G.C., Kim failed to qualify by 4 shots. Jimin Kang & Soo Yun Kang were also in the field, and failed to qualify.
Grace’s 2004 Kraft Nabisco Win is a 7 year distant memory for the player who has struggled mightily over the years with back and other injuries. 2004, where she finished #2 on the moneylist was the peak for a player that looked poised to threaten for #1. Park is attempting to resume a full schedule in 2010, and after a promising finish at the Kraft this year, she’s been unable to find the top 10. Park hasn’t bettered her T6 at the open that she got 10 years ago (in her first year as an LPGA professional), and hasn’t been in the field since 2008. Grace attempted to qualify at Pinnacle Peak C.C. and missed out by three strokes.
Other notables missing are Permilla Lindberg, Paola Moreno, Haeji Kang, Angela Oh, Mariajo Uribe, Jane Park, Il Hee Lee, Young-A Yang, Karin Sjodin, Misun Cho, Whitney Wade, Leta Lindley, Allison Hanna, and Diana D’Alessio.
The 2009 U.S. Open Qualifying tournament begins on Tuesday, and one of the players I am definitley interested in following is Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan. If you haven’t been paying attention to tour qualifying and the lower echelons of the WTA tour, Kimiko Date-Krumm is making a comeback on the WTA Tour after a 13 year absence!
Date-Krumm, who will turn 39 in September, lost in the opening round at Flushing Meadows the last time she played in 1996. Date-Krumm did make the quarterfinals at the last grand slam of the year in 1993 & 1994.
Date-Krumm, now ranked 160, will open her qualifying campaign against Ekaterina Ivanova. The 21 year old Russian was 5 years old when Date-Krumm first made the quarterfinals here in 1993. Ivanova is ranked a bit higher, but I think Kimiko’s retro game will be enough to outduel the Russian.
Earlier in 2009 Date-Krumm qualified for the Australian Open before losing a three set heartbreaker to 25th seed Kaia Kanepi. She was forced to withdraw from her opening roung qualifying match at Roland Garros to the “Dropshot Dame” Romina Oprandi, and then valiantly lost another three setter to top 10 player Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.
Let’s hope Kimiko can have a bit better success (and luck with the draw!) this week at Roland Garros.