Notes Womens Open Headed to Pebble Beach


2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Women's golf received a big boost when two of the most storied courses on either side of the Atlantic agreed to hold majors for the first time -- St. Andrews this year, and Pebble Beach.
The USGA finally settled on a year for the U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach -- 2014. The trick now is finding a date.
The date of the biggest event in women's golf has been fluctuating in recent years. It will be held the week before the Fourth of July in 2007 and 2008, and the week after in 2009-11.
The biggest problem is a crowded calendar, not only in amateur golf, but the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour.
'It depends on Pebble, it depends on us, it depends on tournament schedules,'
USGA executive director David Fay said. 'A lot of you guys have been touching on how crowded the dance card is getting. We haven't been pushing it because we know we're going to go there, and we haven't been urgently trying to find a date.'
The U.S. Open announces its date seven years before the championship, but Fay said that was a bigger operation.
'We'll have to throw it into high gear this summer to nail down a date,' he said. USGA executive director David Fay always thought drug testing would be inevitable in golf because it is played in so many countries. He suggested Wednesday golf might be better off developing a policy that covers every organization.
'The real issue in drug testing, if you get right down to it, is are we going to have a code that is sport specific, or adopt the WADA code,' Fay said at the U.S. Women's Open.
The World Anti-Doping Agency governs Olympic sports and has a long list of performance-enhancing drugs that are banned.
Those were the guidelines the USGA and R&A followed last year in South Africa at the World Amateur Team championship, which experimented with drug testing for the first time. All 12 samples from the amateur golfers came back negative.
The LPGA Tour said it will start drug testing next year, developing its policy through the National Center for Drug Free Sport, which manages testing programs for the NCAA and other organizations.
The European Tour hopes to have a drug policy as early as next year, while PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem has said he expects to have a list of banned substances by the end of this year.
Fay said every golf organization would work together to come up with one policy.
'What golf needs to do, and Tim mentioned it last week, is the leadership needs to come up with something as uniform as possible,' Fay said. 'It may be the people who sit on the World Golf Foundation are probably the people to do this.'
Among those on the WGF are Finchem, Fay, PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka, LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson, European Tour chief George O'Grady and Masters general manager Jim Armstrong.
Fay said the USGA would not take a leading role for drug testing in its 13 national championships, 10 of them for amateurs.
'The leading voice has to be the professional tours, because the professional tours have entertainers who people care about it,' he said. 'They want to know that Tiger and Annika are clean, that sort of thing. Whether they're interested in the U.S. Senior Amateur and what our guys are taking ... I don't know.'
Even a uniform policy for golf might not matter. Fay said some governments, such as France, would still require their policies.
'But this is a global sport,' he said. 'Whatever we develop, the few varieties of anti-doping policies the better.'
The U.S. Women's Open will return in 2011 to The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., where Annika Sorenstam won her first Open title in 1995. The tournament will be held July 7-10, a week after many potential volunteers have returned from the Fourth of July holiday.
The U.S. Senior Open is going to The Broadmoor in 2008.
The Donald Ross design also was the site of Jack Nicklaus' first U.S. Amateur title in 1957, the third straight U.S. Women's Amateur title won by Juli Inkster in 1982, and the 1967 U.S. Amateur won by Bob Dickson.
The Women's Open will go to Interlachen next year, followed by Saucon Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania and Oakmont Country Club in 2010.
LPGA champion Suzann Pettersen turned professional at 19, mainly because she didn't want to go to college.
Not that she doesn't like school.
'I had such a hard time trying to play golf and do my studies, because I like to do 100 percent on everything,' she said. 'I figured this is what I wanted to do, and I thought I was good enough, so I chose golf.'
Among the colleges she considered was Duke.
Pettersen played a practice round Wednesday with Amanda Blumenherst, part of Duke's NCAA championship team this year.
Related Links:
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