Dec 9th, 2020
Who will win the U.S. Women’s Open?
History and form all points towards a battle of the Ks
Words: GolfPunk Photography: USGA/Jeff Haynes
Not taking anything away from the winners of the three majors played so far in 2020 the fields were weakened slightly by the reduced representation of South Korea due to the COVID pandemic. Having said that only one major was won by a golfer from outside the South Asian powerhouse that being the brilliant win by Sophia Popov at the Women’s Open at Royal Troon.
As the cream of ladies golf descends on the Champions Golf Club in Houston, the big guns are in town. The majority of the World’s top 50 are present and roughly a quarter of them are South Korean.
Looking at recent U.S. Women’s Opens, South Korea has a 60% success rate over both the past five and ten year periods. In the last ten years, only one winner of the Open has come from a country other than South Korea or the USA, Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand who won in 2018.
It will be a surprise to us if the Open goes to a player from outside of the two major women’s golfing nations. There is also a strong chance that the winner will come from the World top five.
Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang who sit at numbers three and four in the world respectively, must be the pick of the American contingent. Looking at South Korea, it would be astonishing if one or more of the three players that make up the top five, Jin Young Ko, Sei Young Kim, and Inbee Park, are not battling it out for the title come Sunday afternoon.
On form it hard to look beyond Kim or Park for the win but Ko, who has only played two LPGA events in 2020 was looking to be finding her touch at the Volunteers of America Classic last week.
Korda was unlucky not to pick up her first major at the ANA Inspiration back in September where the gods and a big blue wall conspired against her.
Danielle Kang will have the weight of expectation on her following two LPGA wins in the summer and a second-place finish in her last event. She is among the favourites although some might question the fact she has not played since late October.
The European challenge is looking healthier than it has for some time with recent wins for Mel Reid and Georgia Hall of England on the LPGA Tour and strong showings of late by Reid and Hall’s countrywoman Charley Hull and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden. Not forgetting, of course, the Women’s Open Champion Sophia Popov of Germany whose confidence is high.
There has not been a European winner of the U.S. Women’s Open since the great Annika Sorenstam back in 2006 and sadly we do not see one in 2020. Top ten finishes maybe but not the title.
So, in summary, there is a good chance the winner's name will begin with K be it Kim, Ko, Korda or Kang but we're throwing in another couple of Ks to look out for, youngsters Jennifer Kupcho and Cheyenne Knight.
We just had a look at the Betfair exchange and there were a couple of bets we just had to have a few quid on:
Jin Young Ko to win at 17/1
Cheyenne Knight to finish in the top five - 23/1