Considering the exasperation American golfers feel in having been unable to win their own national championship, maybe it will help that the U.S. Women's Open next year will introduce something completely new and different:
"It is hard to believe we have never had this championship there," Mike Davis, U.S. Golf Association executive director, said the other day during the Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis. The Island's drought is about to end. Now that this year's Open is done -- with Na Yeon Choi having become the fourth Korean player in five years to win it -- next up is Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton next June.
The first Women's Open on Long Island might or might not halt the Korean dominance, but it sure will be a change of scenery.
"You feel like you're in the Greek Isles or something like that, it's so pretty out there," said Brittany Lang, a recent winner on the LPGA Tour who was one of 27 tour members who played in former pro Val Skinner's charity tournament at Sebonack last year. "I loved it out there. It's a good course, and if that wind gets going, it is going to be quite a test."
There probably is no way to "Choi-proof" the course and prevent another 7-under-par score. "But out on Peconic Bay, it's windy every single day. So the setup is going to be based solely on wind," said Ben Kimball, the USGA's official in charge of the women's Open.
He laughed when someone pointed out that the lone exception to the wind theory was the four-day span during the infamous 2004 men's U.S. Open at neighboring Shinnecock Hills. Based on centuries of recorded history, the USGA will take its chances on breezes at the Tom Doak-Jack Nicklaus layout that is known for its fast, intricately contoured greens.
Brittany Lincicome, whose five wins include a major, said: "I thought it was really hard. The greens were so hilly, there were a lot of tricks to that golf course. But, right by the water, it's going to be a beautiful sight."
People familiar with Sebonack say the greens require so much local knowledge that tour pros would be better off using one of the club's caddies such as Linn Strickler, who looped for Greg Norman during a Sebonack visit in 2008. The Shark invited Strickler to caddie for him at the British Open and nearly won.
In any case, American golfers started thinking about the South Fork vistas as soon as they finished Sunday.
Vicky Hurst, a contender for much of the week, said: "I'm looking forward to it. It's very linksy, it's got that Hamptons feel to it, you know? That area is just a little bit different."