Scotland’s GULLANE — The best golf courses have always provided a variety of shot alternatives before requiring quick decisions and precise execution. But occasionally a decision is made available even before a tournament has begun. or competitions. And for three of the amateur contestants in this week’s AIG Women’s British Open at Muirfield, that was the case.
The options accessible to all three ladies were clear-cut, like, instance, choosing to go for the lengthy carry across the river. But it took some thought and deliberation before the ultimate implementation could be decided. Rose Zhang, Anna Davis, and Ingrid Lindblad are currently in Scotland as opposed to Washington state for this reason. There wasn’t enough time for any of the three to travel to Seattle/Tacoma and the Chambers Bay course, where the U.S. Women’s Amateur will be held starting Monday morning, after the Women’s British Open ended on Sunday.
Thus, it had to be either/or. Logistically, neither was possible.
The choice was in some ways challenging for Zhang, but in other ways it wasn’t at all challenging. The 19-year-old is the reigning NCAA champion and the No. 1 amateur in the world. She has also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur. With such a track record, it is easy to assume the Californian has high expectations for herself when she eventually transitions to the professional ranks. So it turns out that the chance to compete against the greatest in the business prevailed over the chance to accomplish something twice.
The lone amateur to make the halfway cut and who is even par commented, “Both events are so prestigious, it would have been hard to make a wrong choice.” But I really wanted to play here. Since Muirfield is such a unique location, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to return. I do have a special spot in my heart for the Women’s Amateur. However, I wanted to take advantage of the significant experience while I was still a beginner.
It really stinks that I’ll miss the AM, but my schedule is simply too demanding, she said. “Last month, I received an exemption to the Evian Masters, and it would have been quite difficult to return home and then travel here again. But a lot of thinking went into it. It took me until the very last minute to make the connection.
The victor of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur this year, Davis, made her decision more promptly. The left-hander from California, who is only 16 years old, has benefited from “so many possibilities” since her victory at the site of the Masters, one of which was the opportunity to compete in her maiden Women’s British Open.
Davis, who shot 76-75 at Muirfield to miss the cut, says, “Basically, I’ve chosen to take advantage of as many things as I can.” “The U.S. Amateur is definitely on my bucket list, but I’ve always wanted to compete in the major championships and an LPGA tournament. That is the reason I’m here.
“Making that choice wasn’t simple. However, I figured it would be enjoyable to travel here and play some authentic links golf. Yes, it is very different from anything I played growing up in California and this is my first time playing it. But it was fun and a wonderful experience. Just coming here and playing well for the first time was so difficult.
Ironically, Davis’ biggest issues were with commitment. She found it challenging to start shots “far over there over bunkers” over the course of two days in the hope that they would “come back.”
Of course they do, she replied. “But it requires some bravery and is difficult to trust. So much faith. But I don’t regret coming here at all. There won’t be many Women’s Opens at Muirfield, but there will be other U.S. Amateurs for me. The course this week has been the finest part of my trip because it is so different. There’s a lot of history. All I wanted was to participate in the inaugural Women’s Open held here.
Given how challenging travel can be right now, Lindblad had perhaps the easiest option to make of the three players. The prospect of travelling to Seattle and then taking at least two more transatlantic flights held little appeal for the Swede, who placed T-11 at the U.S. Women’s Open in May but shot 74-76 to miss the cut here.
The 22-year-old LSU soon-to-be senior, who pre-qualified for Muirfield with a seven-under-par 65 at neighbouring North Berwick last Monday, said, “I’ve always wanted to participate in the U.S. Amateur.” However, it never seems to mesh well with the European calendar. Seattle is also very far away. As a result, travelling for a single tournament would have been difficult. Before returning to school, I would have had to travel there and back to Sweden. These dates are terrible. So, even though I had to meet the requirements simply to be here, it wasn’t a very difficult choice.
In addition, she added, “This has been enjoyable. “The previous two days, my long game has simply not been good enough. You will be penalised if you strike it here at the incorrect location. Furthermore, it is difficult to make anything when you are not that close to the pins. That was actually my tale.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur shouldn’t feel too horrible overall, either. Everyone had a justification for choosing to play in Scotland’s southeast as opposed to the American Northwest. Good ones, even if the execution varied in the end.