US Women’s Open: Leona Maguire among those trying to beat Nelly Korda

American golfer heads into major having won six of her seven events on the LPGA Tour this year

Nelly Korda heads into the US Women’s Open in the form of her life having won six of her seven events on the LPGA Tour so far this year, including The Chevron (the first of five women’s Majors on the schedule).

As expected of courses set up by the USGA, the examination at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania is anticipated to be a tough one. As Korda put it, “It’s going to test every aspect of just your golf game and even your mental game because it’s a Major championship. You can get ahead of yourself, get lost in the moment. If you make a couple mistakes here and there sometimes it can get away from you, but it’s going to test every aspect of your game out there this week.”

Korda (25) is seeking a third career Major title, having recently added The Chevron to her 2021 US Women’s PGA.

Leona Maguire, who missed the cut at The Chevron last month, is looking to bounce back in this championship; the world number 27 is one of three Irish players in the field, along with Stephanie Meadow – who was tied-30th in Chevron – and amateur Áine Donegan.


US Women’s Open

Purse: €11 million (€1.9m to the winner)

Where: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

The course: Lancaster Country Club – 6,583 yards Par 70 – was designed by the noted American course architect William Flynn. The course last played host to the US Open in 2015, when it was won by In Gee Chun, who was made an honorary member of the club and who has since returned annually to host a charity day. In wonderful conditioning, the course challenges players off and the tee and on approach to heavily bunkered greens: there is a stunning stretch for home, highlighted by the signature 18th, played off an elevated tee.

The field: In what is the second Major of the women’s season, there is a stellar field headed by the dominant world number one Nelly Korda (winner of six of her last tournaments on the LPGA Tour). Nine of the top-10 are playing, along with eight past champions. Allisen Corpuz is the defending champion.

Quote-Unquote: “Getting to play [the US Open] as a 14-year-old back in the day was where I realised this was what I wanted to do for a living. To get to come out here every year and compete at the best golf courses for the highest prize money and against the best players in the world, there’s nothing better than that” – Nelly Korda.

Irish in the field: Three of them: Áine Donegan – the amateur from Lahinch Golf Club – came through pre-qualifying for a second straight year and is in a group with So Mi Lee and Yealimi Noh (off the 1st tee at 12.29pm Irish time); Leona Maguire is in a group with Madelene Sagstrom and Patty Tavatanakit (off the 1st at 1.13pm Irish time); and Stephanie Meadow is grouped with Esther Henseleit and Mi Hyang Lee (off the 1st at 7.31pm Irish time).

Betting: Nelly Korda’s dominance on tour has the world number one installed as a tightly priced 10-3 favourite with her US Solheim Cup team-mate Rose Zhang rated next best in the market at 18-1. In-form Hannah Green is worth an each-way look at 25-1 while Leona Maguire looks well-priced at 50s.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports Main Event (from 5pm and 10.30pm).

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times