The best players in the women's game gather this week at Sebonack Golf Club for the U.S. Women's Open. The season's third major is sure to prove a stern test for participants across the scenic Tom Doak design that hugs the Long Island, N.Y., coastline.
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Na Yeon Choi returns to defend the title she won a year ago at Blackwolf Run. Here are 10 players to watch this week in New York:
1. Inbee Park: Park is an overwhelming favorite this week, and rightfully so. A winner of this event in 2008, she has already won each of the first two majors this season and won a week ago at the Wal-Mart NW Arkansas Championship. While a sweep of the season's majors is unprecedented in the women's game, Park shows no signs of slowing down heading to Sebonack.
2. Suzann Pettersen: Already with one win under her belt this year, Pettersen returns to an event where she has finished inside the top 10 three of the last four years, including a T-2 finish in 2010. The Norwegian tied for third at each of the season's first two majors and in total has recorded 10 top-five finishes in majors since 2007, including her lone major win at the LPGA Championship six years ago.
3. Na Yeon Choi: The defending champion this week, Choi cruised to a four-shot win a year ago, her third top-10 at the U.S. Women's Open since 2009. She has five top-10 finishes to her credit this season, including a T-9 result earlier this month at the Wegman's LPGA Championship, and is third on Tour in scoring average.
4. Stacy Lewis: The former world No. 1 came up short last week in her hometown event, the tie for fourth was her best result since back-to-back wins in March. Lewis tied for third in the 2008 U.S. Women's Open and now ranks second on Tour in scoring average, putts per GIR and 2013 earnings.
5. Karrie Webb: The veteran has won this event twice (2000, 2001) and earlier this season scrapped to a win in New Jersey amid Open-like conditions. She has three other top-10 finishes to her credit this year, ranking 19th on Tour in both driving accuracy and GIR percentage.
6. Cristie Kerr: A winner earlier this year at Kingsmill, Kerr claimed the U.S. Women's Open in 2007 and has finished inside the top 10 in the event three times since. She recorded top-20 finishes at each of the first two majors this year and currently sits 17th on Tour in scoring average.
7. So Yeon Ryu: A runner-up to Park last week in Arkansas, Ryu also finished second behind the South Korean at the first major this season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Ryu claimed the 2011 U.S. Women's Open in a playoff and finished a respectable T-14 a year ago in defense of her title.
8. Jiyai Shin: A two-time winner of the Women's British Open, Shin has not finished outside the top 20 in five career U.S. Women's Open starts, including a tie for fifth in 2010. She has notched top-10 finishes at each of the first two majors this season and won earlier this year in Australia.
9. Lizette Salas: After contending at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Salas fell in a playoff to Pettersen at the LPGA Lotte Championship in April. She's in the midst of a breakthrough campaign, with four top-10 finishes while ranking inside the top 10 on Tour in scoring average, total birdies and putts per GIR.
10. Paula Creamer: A winner of this event in 2010, Creamer has already recorded eight top-15 finishes this year, including a tie for seventh last week in Arkansas. She currently sits second on Tour in GIR percentage and 11th in scoring average.