2022 Women’s US Open Second Round Notes
MINA HARIGAE, MINJEE LEE TIED FOR U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN LEAD
Through 36 holes at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, two players at very different points in their careers sit tied at the top of the major leaderboard.
American Mina Harigae backed up her first-round 64 with a 2-under 69 in Friday’s second round. Harigae, winless in 255 career LPGA Tour starts, carded five birdies and three bogeys and, for the second time in her 13-year career, finds herself in a prime major position heading in the weekend.
“Since it was the morning, fairways were a little softer, greens were a little softer, so my drives weren’t going as far and I had a little longer clubs in,” said Harigae, who held the lead after 36 holes at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open. “The golf ball was able to hold better too, so it was alright out there.”
Seven-time LPGA Tour winner Minjee Lee joins Harigae in a tie for first after a 5-under 66 on Friday. Lee, the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship winner, is aiming to become the third U.S. Women’s Open champion from Australia, joining 1983 winner Jan Stephenson and two-time champion Karrie Webb, who won at Pine Needles in 2001.
“The golf course can really catch up to you quickly, so just trying to take whatever I have in front of me,” said Lee, who won two weeks ago at the Cognizant Founders Cup. “Whenever I have a birdie opportunity, I try to take advantage of that.”
2022 LPGA Tour rookie Hye-Jin Choi, who finished second at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open as a 17-year-old amateur, shot Friday’s round of the day. Her 7-under 64, one stroke off the championship scoring record, vaulted her up the leaderboard into a tie for second alongside three-time major champion Anna Nordqvist at -7. “I think that this U.S. Women’s Open fits me quite well and I think the course is excellent,” said Choi, a three-time KLPGA Tour Player of the Year before she joined the LPGA Tour in 2022. “I had high expectations when I came here.”
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko pulled into contention with a 13-foot eagle putt at No. 15, moving to -6 overall and is in a tie for fifth with Swedish amateur Ingrid Lindblad. “I had a great 3-wood to 20 meters from the second shot and I was aiming to the right of the TV tower,” said Ko of her eagle. “Ball goes straight there and I got eagle.”
2014 U.S. Women’s Open winner Michelle Wie West wrapped up her full-time LPGA Tour career with a 3-over 74, missing the cut at +5 overall. Defending champion Yuka Saso (+9) and three-time champion Annika Sorenstam (+13) also missed the cut.
LPGA TOUR ROOKIE HYE-JIN CHOI MAKING HAY THROUGH TWO ROUNDS AT USWO
Korean Hye-Jin Choi may be a 2022 LPGA Tour rookie, but she hasn’t been playing like one. The 22-year-old has five top-10s this year, including a solo third finish at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei, and her worst finish so far is a T32 at the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol. And that upward trend has continued this week at the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica. After opening with an even-par 71, Choi carded a 7-under 64 on Friday at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, a round that saw her make nine birdies and just two bogeys.
“I think I had a chance to make birdies yesterday, but I think my putting was much better today,” said Choi, who needed just 26 putts on Friday and hit 14 of 14 fairways as well as 16 of 18 greens. “Also, thanks to the rain I think the greens were working for me. And that’s how I was able to attack and make birdies.”
Though she’s a fresh face on the LPGA Tour, Choi has already been around the block in her young tenure. She has 11 career top-10 finishes on Tour, including a solo second as an amateur at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, her best finish in four previous appearances and her best finish in a major championship. She’s an 11-time KLPGA winner, with five of those victories coming in 2019, and currently sits at No. 38 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and is No. 16 in the Race to the CME Globe. Those are a lot of accomplishments in a short amount of time to say the least, but they don’t faze Choi one bit and she remains focused on enjoying the walk as she looks ahead to the weekend in Southern Pines.
“I was fairly good when I was an amateur, but once I turned to pro I think I became a more sophisticated and detailed player, and I will continue to work very hard,” said Choi. “I play one by one, and that’s how I don’t think about everything so that helps when I play one by one. And I have experience being a rookie in Korea so that experience helps. I always try to enjoy as much as I can.”
MICHELLE WIE WEST WRAPS UP FULL-TIME PLAYING CAREER
2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie West thought she had it all in gear this morning. Things were looking bright as she teed it up for the last time as a full-time LPGA Tour player. Her game? Pointing in the right direction.
“Today started off on a great high. I did Wordle for the first time and guessed the word on the second try,” said Wie West, catching the gathered media off guard. “I thought I was undefeatable after today, and then it was a gradual decline after that.”
Maybe Wie West needed a good laugh after Friday’s round of 74, one that left her well outside the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica cutline at +5 and now on the outside of her full-time professional career. But one thing is for certain – Wie West, one of the brightest lights that ever walked inside the ropes on the LPGA Tour, is stepping away with no regrets. As a mother, wife, business investor, charitable ambassador, content creator and major champion, she has truly embraced that there is more to life than what happens on the golf course.
“I’m probably going to let the clubs collect some dust on them for a little bit now, but I’m excited,” said Wie West, who plans to tee it up one final time in 2023 at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach. “There’s a lot of projects that I’m working on that I haven’t had time to do before, so I’m just going to dive into those. I’m really excited.”
MAJOR CHAMPION DANIELLE KANG REVEALS SHE HAS A SPINAL TUMOR
2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Champion Danielle Kang revealed today that she’s been battling a spinal tumor. Since withdrawing from the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America and subsequently de-committing from the Cognizant Founders Cup, Kang has been dealing with a myriad of back issues and the tumor was discovered during medical procedures done to diagnose the source of her discomfort.
Because of her long-time relationship with MGM Rewards, Kang pushed herself to play last week at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play in Las Vegas and came to this week at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club only because of her desire to compete in the major championship, something she’s been working toward since the onset of her injury.
“I’m actually doing everything I can,” said Kang following her second round of the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica. “I don’t know how to answer these things right now. I don’t have all the answers. I’ve been working with (my doctor) and he has been really great, and my physio has gone above and beyond. Same thing with my physio out here. They’re just keeping me together. My goal is to play this week. I didn’t want to miss it. For the last seven, eight weeks I’ve done everything I can to get here. After this week, I will focus on addressing the issue and then trying to figure it out from there.”
Despite the hardships, Kang shot rounds of 71 and 74 at Pine Needles, making the cut on the number at +3.
Rolex Rankings No. 52 Mina Harigae (64-69)
- Harigae’s 133 is the lowest 36-hole score of her major career, besting the 136 she shot at the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship
- She hit 14 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, with 24 putts
- This is Harigae’s 13th season on the LPGA Tour; she has no career victories and 19 career top-10s, most recently a tie for third at the 2021 CME Group Tour Championship
- This is Harigae’s 12th appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open; her best finish is a tie for 28th in 2012 at Blackwolf Run
- Her best finish in a major championship is T13, recorded at the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the 2021 AIG Women’s Open
- Harigae was a member of the 2021 U.S. Solheim Cup
- She was a member of the 2008 U.S. Curtis Cup team
- Harigae won the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at Kearney Hills Golf Links
Rolex Rankings No. 4 Minjee Lee (67-68)
- She hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens with 28 putts
- This is Lee’s eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven career wins, including a major championship title at the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship
- This is Lee’s ninth start in the U.S. Women’s Open; her best finish is a T11 in 2017
- This is Lee’s ninth event of the 2022 season; she has one win at the Cognizant Founders Cup and has recorded two additional top-five finishes, a tie for second at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and a tie for third at the DIO Implant LA Open
- Lee leads the Race to the CME Globe with 1,202 points; she also leads in rounds in the 60s (15) and scoring average (68.89)
- Since missing the cut at the 2021 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, Lee has recorded five top-five results and a victory in 13 starts
- Through the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards, Lee leads the Aon Risk Reward Challenge (-1.143)
- She represented Australia at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic games finishing T7 and T29 respectively
- Lee was the low amateur at the 2014 Chevron Championship
- Lee won the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club
- Brother Min Woo Lee plays on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour
Rolex Rankings No. 38 Hye-Jin Choi (71-64)
- Choi’s 135 is tied for the lowest 36-hole score of her LPGA Tour career, joining the 135 she shot in March at the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol
- She hit 14 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Choi is a 2022 LPGA Tour rookie
- This is Choi’s fifth appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open; she was runner-up as an amateur in 2017 and has never missed the cut
- Her best finish in a major championship is solo second at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open
- Choi is an 11-time winner on the KLPGA Tour, including the 2019 CreaS F&C KLPGA Championship, one of the tour’s major championships
- 2018 KLPGA Rookie of the Year, and 2018, 2019 and 2020 KLPGA Player of the Year
Rolex Rankings No. 23 Anna Nordqvist (67-68)
- She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens with 28 putts
- This is Nordqvist’s 14th season on the LPGA Tour; she has 9 career victories including three major championships, the most recent of which came at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open
- This is her 14th start in the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica; her best finish is a solo second in 2016 at CordeValle Golf Resort
- This is Nordqvist’s eighth start of the 2022 season; her best finish so far is a tie for 26th at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei
- Nordqvist was a member of Team Europe at the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 Solheim Cup
- Represented Sweden at the 2016 Olympics, finishing T11, and the 2020 Olympics, finishing T23
- She is a four-time winner on the Ladies European Tour
- 2009 LET Rookie of the Year
- Played collegiately at Arizona State University, where she was the 2007 NGCA Freshman of the Year and a two-time First-Team All-American
- Has a dog named Max
156 players; 72 holes, stroke play, cut to top 60 and ties after 36 holes
SOCIAL MEDIA: #DRIVEON
Championship: @uswomensopen, @usga (Twitter and Instagram); #USWomensOpen
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
TV TIMES (all times Eastern)
|Saturday, June 4||12-1 p.m.||Round 3||Peacock|
|Saturday, June 4||1-3 p.m.||Round 3||USA|
|Saturday, June 4||3-6 p.m.||Round 3||NBC|
|Sunday, June 5||1-3 p.m.||Round 4||USA|
|Sunday, June 5||3-7 p.m.||Round 4||NBC|
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 63, Helen Alfredsson, first round, 1994
36 holes: 132, Helen Alfredsson, 1994
54 holes: 201, Juli Inkster, 1999
72 holes: 272, Annika Sorenstam, 1996; Juli Inkster, 1999; In Gee Chun, 2015