SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The USGA is developing a nice curve ball under executive director Mike Davis’ reign, but Thursday’s U.S. Women’s Open setup wasn’t necessarily one.
While Davis likes to make players think by moving tee boxes around, the dramatic shortening of the first-round setup under managing director Jeff Hall was due partly to the bad weather and high winds forecast, according to USGA officials.
Tees at Sebonack Golf Club were dramatically moved up from the practice rounds with the course playing 6,548 yards. That’s 248 yards shorter than listed on the scorecard.
With the high winds and rain not arriving, players adjusted their game plans.
“I was definitely surprised at how many tees were moved up,” Stacy Lewis said after a round of 1-under-par 71. “It was definitely set up a lot easier today, a lot more score-able. It was just a different course today.”
The tees at No. 1, expected to play beastly this week, were moved up 21 yards. Lewis, Inbee Park and Suzann Pettersen all birdied it in their marquee grouping. Tees were moved up 35 yards at No. 6, 28 yards at No. 10 and 32 yards at No. 14.
With the possibility of high winds Friday, players shouldn’t be surprised by another short setup.