Levittown's Annie Park goes into the U.S. Women's Open as the local favorite this week at Sebonack Golf Club, especially coming off her NCAA Tournament individual title as a first-semester freshman at Southern California. But she's not the only member of USC's NCAA title team in the field.
Kyung Kim, the 2012 U.S. Women's Public Links champion, got her first taste of Sebonack yesterday. "It's fabulous,'' Kim said. "I love the course. It's so pretty here.''
Park's emergence came as no surprise to Kim, who said, "We knew each other for a long time. It just felt like a junior golf tournament again . . . It helped us win the national championship. She was a big role in our team. I'm just glad she's here.''
Kim, who is playing in her third straight Open and missed the cut by a stroke a year ago, figures to contend for low amateur. "This is the best tournament experience by far for me,'' Kim said.
Michelle Wie missed the cut at last week's LPGA Tour event but looked sharp during a practice round Monday with Inbee Park, 2011 U.S. Open champ So Yeon Ryu and Nicole Zhang. "It was a lot of fun playing with them,'' Wie said. "I learned a lot from how Inbee plays the golf course, and I got to see stuff like that, so it was a fun day.''
Flying as a group
Travel from Arkansas, site of last week's LPGA event, to Southampton ordinarily would be an ordeal, so the tour put together a charter flight that ferried about 90 players to Long Island in time for a practice round Monday. "The thing that struck me that was different from any flight we normally would take was the amount of chatter that was going on,'' Karen Stupples said. "Because we know each other so well, there was a lot to talk about.''