LPGA pros give Sebonack a thumbs up

LPGA pro and 2007 U.S. Open champion Cristie LPGA pro and 2007 U.S. Open champion Cristie Kerr takes a swing at Sebonack Golf Club, which will host the U.S. Women's Open next year. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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Standing on the upstairs patio at Sebonack Golf Club the other day, former U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr agreed with the consensus that the views are spectacular. A person can even see eight months into the future, when the Women's Open comes to this course on Peconic Bay. "It might be the best place we've ever had it," she said.

Kerr was one of a few LPGA pros at the club in Southampton Wednesday for a preview outing and she acknowledged that there will be differences of opinion about the course and its intensely undulating greens. It is unlikely that anyone will dispute the quality of the scenery hat is likely to give the 2013 Women's Open extra cachet.

"It's a great course. It's an amazing piece of land," she said. "There are beautiful views, and it's in historic golf country, with National right next door and Shinnecock right nearby. It's crazy.

"And it's a tough course. You're going to really have to golf your ball here. The greens are really different. Some people are going to love them, some people are going to hate them. I happen to really like them, because it's a putter's golf course," she said.

Kerr has been out to play it a few times, being a rare major champion who has a home in Manhattan. She spends between two and three months a year there because her husband, Erik Stevens, grew up in the New York area and his marketing firm is based there.

She knows enough about the area to believe the crowds and noise at Sebonack in late June will be greater than they were at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin this past July 4. Her Birdies for Breast Cancer charity earned six figures, she said, just through silent and live auctions at an outing Monday at Liberty National -- a short ferry ride from the city.

Other golfers agreed with her assessment of Sebonack. "I love it. It's definitely a course that you can score on and a course that you can get in a lot of trouble on," said Sara (nicknamed "No H") Brown, a former star on the Big Break TV series. "I like that the fairways are big, but there are bunkers right in the middle. So if you're not precise with your tee shots, you're going to be in trouble."

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Jimin Kang, a Korean born two-time winner on tour, made her first visit to Long Island and played even par for nine rain-soaked holes from the back tees on Bethpage Black Tuesday. At Sebonack the next day, she said, "This is how I feel: I just want to plug my eyes into my phone and YouTube it or tweet it, and just send it to everybody, so I can share every single moment of what I see out here."

Chip shotsThe Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course will be the site for walkers, not golfers, on Nov. 4 with it hosts the 10th Annual Lung Cancer Walk for Hope. Last year's event drew 1,200 people. Visit www.cancercare.org/lungcancerwalk . . . Eugene Sullivan sank a 205-yard shot with a 25-degree hybrid for a double eagle on the 459-yard par-5 11th hole at North Hills Country Club.

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